trade unionism. It had been suggested by the ILO that the employers should
Trades Union Federation (ITUF) with the National Trades Union Federation
(NTUF), the merger of the Red TUC with AITUC and finally the affiliation
of NTUF with AITUC in 1938.
Fifth Stage (1939–45) The fifth stage corresponds with the war period. The
World War II indirectlyoffered unprecedented protection to Indian Industries.
The supply of foreign goods was denied to the Indian market partly because
there was shortage of shipping facilities and partly because the peace time
British industries in India and abroad switched over to war production. As a
result Indian industries stepped up their activity. Industrial pro-duction in
India increased and established new records. However, prices rose sharply
and inflation prevailed on account of the continuous purchase by Great
Britain in India against sterling securities.
There was rapid increase in profits but not in the wages.
Strikes were, however, very few and wherever they were, they brought
concessions to workers. The decline in the number of strikes was due to
The communist leaders who supported war did not favour strikes.
Other sections of trade unions did not have the right type of leaders to guide
the movement and to formulate the grievances of the workers.
The attitude of the employers was not that hostile.
The government of India, under the Defence of India Rules, assumed powers
to prevent strikes and refer any dispute for adjudication and enforce the
On the whole, the importance given to trade unions was enhanced. A
permanent tripartite collaborative machinery was formed consisting of
government representatives, labour union leaders and employers. And under
the National Service Ordinance of 1940, the rights of the workers were
protected, while it was made clear that it was their duty to work.
Likewise the Essential Services Maintenance Ordinance of 1941
prohibited the employers from dismissing the workers without valid reasons.
Sixth Stage (1945–47) The sixth stage i.e., the post-war period was also
marked by a further growth in trade unionism, since the end of war brought
no material benefits to the workers. The rise in prices and the cost of living
showed no signs of abatement in the post-war period. The political