labour movement. Moreover, the attitude of the government was also helpful
in this regard. Both the central and state governments, far from suppressing
the labour movement, have realised that labour has to play a valuable role in
the changed circumstances. So the Trade Union Act was amended in 1947 to
secure compulsory recognition of trade unions by the employers, provided
they fulfilled certain requirements.
    Another important feature of trade union movement during this period
was the increase in the number of women members of the trade unions. Due
to this, their position in trade unions as well as society enhanced
    A large number of smaller unions came to be organised. But these small
and local unions could not carry out effective collective bargaining and
ensure the effective implementation of awards and agreements, while the
employees’ organisations became powerful and centrally organised. This
necessitated the formation of new interstate, regional organisations among the
    As a result, the strikes increased in number. Bombay and West Bengal,
followed by Madras and Uttar Pradesh were the leading states so far as the
industrial disputes were concerned. The Government of Independent India
was greatly worried, because the rising unrest caused a decline in the
industrial production. Therefore, in December 1947, an Industries Truce
Conference was held and attended by the representatives of government,
workers and employers. This conciliated the workers, who accepted the
principle of compulsory conciliation and arbitration by the government and
the Industrial Disputes Act of 1947 (which provided for the appointment of
conciliation machinery, was passed.
Causes for the Rise of Caste Movements One of the major causes was the
grievances of the educated men belonging to the lower and intermediate
castes. They raised their voice against a system which discriminated against
them, as for instance in Justice movement in south India and Satyashodak
movement (its urban aspect) in