What is a labor union?
A labor union, also known as a trade union, is an organized group of working people who have banded together to protect and advance their collective interests. The primary purpose of a labor union is to negotiate with employers on behalf of workers to secure better wages, benefits, and working conditions. They also work to ensure that employees are not subjected to unfair treatment or discrimination by their employers.
History of Labour Union
The history of labor unions in India dates back to 1854 when Calcutta saw the formation of a union called the Sohrabji Shapuri Bengali. This was founded by C.P. Mazumdar and Narayan Meghji Lokhande as a way to advocate for better working conditions and wages for workers in the city.
In 1884, the Bombay Millhands Association was founded to unite industrial workers from different casts, creeds, religions, and classes across India. This association continued to grow in strength and numbers over the years, culminating in its success in passing the Indian Factory Act of 1891. This new law provided numerous benefits for workers such as improved safety regulations, better wages, shorter hours of work, and minimum age restrictions for employment.
Between 1920-1946 many strikes were organized by different labor unions demanding better pay, reasonable hours of work, and improved working conditions. In 1947, when India gained independence these struggles were embraced wholeheartedly by all sections of society leading to more people joining these unions thereby increasing their power further.
In modern times the Indian labor movement has become much more organized with several trade unions uniting together to have greater bargaining power with employers.
Overall the history of labor unions in India is full of struggle but has been hugely successful in establishing reasonable rights for industrial workers which have helped them lead a life free from oppression and exploitation while still being able to earn fair wages that can ensure their families well being.
What is the primary purpose of labor unions?
Labor unions are created to protect the rights of workers and to ensure they are treated fairly. By banding together with their fellow employees, workers can credibly threaten collective action against businesses and employers to gain better wages, improved working conditions, and greater job security.
In many countries, labor unions were formed in the 19th century by workers who were dissatisfied with long hours, low wages, and dangerous working conditions. Unions fought for laws to be enacted that would limit the working day and provide safer work environments.