Founded in 1989 in its Chennai conference, the All India Central Council of Trade Unions (AICCTU) has achieved the status of a recognized Central Trade Union Organization (CTUO). AICCTU represents the trend of revolutionary trade unionism in the working class movement in India and is the trade union mass organisation of CPI(ML) Liberation.
As per the finally verified membership of CTUOs (on the basis of membership as on 31 December 2002), AICCTU has recorded a membership of 6,39,962 (6 Lakh Thirty Nine Thousand Nine Hundred and Sixty Two) spread over 32 of 50 scheduled industries (including miscellaneous) and 11 states. It has a total number of 165 unions. The pattern of spread of membership shows that apart from making a notable expansion in the unorganized/informal sector which constitutes more than 90% of the total workforce of our country, AICCTU has made considerable expansion in the organized sector too. Among the unorganized sector workers, AICCTU has registered an expansion in all the important sectors like agriculture, plantations, construction, power-loom, and others. The most notable expansion has been among agricultural workers, mainly in Bihar, with a total membership of more than 5 lakh followed by tea plantation workers (mainly in Assam) with a membership of more than 25,000. Among organized sector workers, AICCTU has made considerable expansion in coal mining (mainly in Jharkhand) with a membership of more than 50,000, followed by Road Transport (mainly in Delhi and Bihar) and local bodies (mainly in Bihar). The expansion of AICCTU continues in last five years (2003-07), most notably among agricultural, tea plantation, construction and brick kiln workers in the unorganized sector and contract/casual workforce employed in organized sector, apart from permanent workforce, particularly in coal, steel and local bodies and companies owned by corporate houses. In the days to
The status of recognized CTUO was accorded by the government to AICCTU on the basis of General Verification of membership of registered trade unions affiliated to CTUOs with 31.12.2002 as the date of reckoning (i.e. membership as on 31 December 2002) conducted under the Ministry of Labour, Govt. of India. AICCTU participated in this exercise for the first time. The last verification was conducted in 1996.
According to the procedure adopted, the CTUOs having verified membership of at least 5 lakh and spread over at least four states and four industries were to be recognized by the government as CTUOs. The recognized unions are given representation in International and National conferences, Committees, Councils, etc. As per the final results of verification issued by Ministry of Labour, 12 CTUOs including AICCTU have been declared as recognized accounting for a combined trade union membership of around 2.5 crore. Apart from AICCTU, the other recognized unions are BMS, INTUC, CITU, AITUC, HMS, UTUC (LS), LPF, UTUC, TUCC, NFITU-Dhanbad and SEWA. BMS has emerged as the largest CTUO among all and AITUC has emerged as the largest CTUO among left unions. Interestingly for the first time, a NGO called SEWA has also been accorded the status of recognized CTU.
AICCTU thanks all its affiliated unions for their cooperation in the membership verification exercise that has led to its successful recognition as a central trade union. AICCTU’s Seventh National Conference is due to be held this year. The status of central trade union brings new responsibilities and challenges in its wake. AICTU must gear up to meet these challenge, expand its base amongst the working class, fight the reactionary, legalistic, and economistic trends within the working class, and orient the working class movement not only to defend workers’ rights in this age of all-round assaults, but also to take on the political task of resisting pro-imperialist policies, fighting the communal fascist forces, and defending the nation’s sovereignty. Encouraged by its growing appeal, AICCTU is committed to rising up to this challenge.