THE LABOUR, LABOURISE THE INDUSTRY
– At a Glance
circumstances in which BHARATIYA MAZDOOR SANGH (B.M.S.) came into
existence in the trade union field of India has shaped its significant
role in the trade union movement.
was founded on 23rd of July, 1955 – the day being the birth
anniversary of Lok Manya Bal Gangadhar Tilak – veteran of Freedom
Movement. Two important aspects stand out in connection with this.
Formation of BMS was not the result of split in the existing
trade union organizations, unlike in the case of almost all other trade
unions. Hence it had the formidable responsibility of building its
organizational structure from the grass root level. It started from zero
having no trade union, no membership, no karyakarta, no office, no fund
and no experience.
On the very first day it was visualized as a trade union whose
base-sheet anchor – would be Nationalism, would work as a genuine
trade union, keeping itself scrupulously away from party politics. This
was also unlike other trade unions which were linked to one or the other
political party, overtly or otherwise.
Dawn of BMS, therefore, can be truly described as
watershed in the course of trade union field.
in 1955 existed only in the minds of a few determined persons who
assembled at Bhopal under the guidance of Shri D.B. Thengadi –
a thinker and intellectual, who had even earlier dedicated accepting the
noble principle of self abnegation, his entire life to social work. He
collected a band of determined workers around him to work for the
first task was to build a strong organizational structure on the noble
principles already declared. Constant tour of the country by Shri
Thengadiji and local efforts of his then colleagues, resulted in setting
up of union here, and a union there. Of course that looked insignificant
in the broad canvas of the trade union field like tiny dots on a large
map. Most of these unions were in the unorganized sector. With the
increase in experience, slowly, BMS unions sprung up in important
industries. In a few states, State committees were formed.
Thus it was only in 1967, twelve years after its formation –
that the first All India conference of BMS was held in Delhi, in which
the initial national executive was elected. At the time the number of
affiliated unions was 541 and total memberships was 2,46,000. Shri
Thengadiji was elected General Secretary.
From then on there was no looking back. In 1967 it had 2,46,902
members. In 1984 Central Govt. after membership verification of all
major Central Labour Organisations declared BMS as second largest
Central Trade Union Organisation with 12,11,355 members and during 1996
it was declared first largest organization with 31,17,324 membership by
the Govt. of India, Ministry of Labour vide their letter No.
L-60011/2/84-1R(IMP-1) dated 26/27 Dec.1996. The reckoning date of the
above verification was 31st Dec. 1989 result of which was
declared during 1996 as stated above.
Of the 44 industries classified by the Labour Ministry, Govt. Of
India, for the purpose of membership verification, BMS has affiliated
unions in 43, Lone exception being Air Transport. Contacts have been
established in this field and it is expected that soon this area also
would be covered. (BMS trade union has since been formed in Air
transport also during 1999.)
has membership strength of almost 65 lakhs with the closing of year
1999, almost in all states covered by 32 All India Industrial
BMS is a
productivity oriented non-political CTUO. It rejects the idea of state
control rather it views it as an evil to be restricted to inevitable
sector like defense, but stands firmly for the principle of public
accountability for each industry and consequent enunciation of public
discipline. It tries to bring consumers as the third and the most
important party to industrial relations. For the furtherance and
realization of its aims and objects BMS applies all legitimate means
consistent with the spirit of nationalism and patriotism.
BMS is represented in most of the bipartite/tripartite labour and
industrial Committee /Boards constituted by the Central Govt. It is on
the Indian Labour conference and Standing Labour Committee, Central
Board for Workers Education, ESI, PF, National Productivity Council,
National Safety Council, Negotiating Committees of Public Sector
Undertakings like BHEL, NTPC, NHPC, BEL, Coal, Industrial committees of
Jute, Textiles, Engineering, Chemical – Fertilizers, Sugar,
Electricity, Transport etc. and various other miscellaneous
OF NATIONALISTIC OUTLOOK
Being nationalistic in outlook, it was but natural
that this would be manifested in its activities. National interest was
accepted as supreme and the workers interest to be protected and
promoted within its framework.
National Commitment was to guide all negotiations at collective
bargaining and promoted within its framework.
Good of the country, the industry and the workers was accepted as
the guidelines. Workers are part of the society and have the obligation
to serve it. Consumers interest was taken as nearest to national
Hence the saffron flag of BMS, a symbol of sacrifice and
service, the age old cultural emblem, a source of inspiration, began to
flutter in the trade union field. The BMS insignia symbolizes the rythem
between human controlled industrial development and agricultural
prosperity. This is clearly depicted by impression of strong, confident
and erect thumb of fist in between moving wheel and sheaf of corn.
Significantly, for the first time, a human organ is used in logo by
Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh, in the trade Union fields.
The aims and objective of BMS are:
To establish ultimately the Bharatiya order of society in which
there shall be secured among other things:
Complete utilization of manpower and resources leading to full
employment and maximum production.
Replacement of profit motive by service motive and establishment
of economic democracy resulting in equitable distribution of wealth to
the best advantage of all individual citizens and of the nation as a
Development of autonomous industrial communities forming part and
parcel of the nation, culminating in ‘Labourisation of industry’.
Provision of work with living wage to every individual through
maximum industrialisation of the nation.
With a view to enable the workers to strive successfully for the
ultimate realization of the above objects and to strengthen them, in the
meanwhile, to make their own contribution to the cause of protecting and
promoting their interest consistent with those of the community:
To assist workers in organisaing themselves in trade unions as a
medium of service to the motherland irrespective of faiths and political
To guide, direct, supervise and coordinate the activities of the
To assist the affiliated unions in the formation of state BMS
units and industrial Federations as constituent units of the BMS and
To bring about unity in the trade union movement.
To secure and preserve for the workers:
The right to work, the right for security of service and for
social security, the right to conduct trade union activities and the
right to strike as a last resort after having exhausted other legitimate
methods of trade unionism for redressal of grievances.
Improvement in conditions of work, life and social and industrial
A living wage consistent with a national minimum and due share in
the profits in their respective industries and
Other appropriate amenities.
Expeditious enforcement and appropriate amendment of existing
labour legislation in their interest and
Enactment of new labour laws from time to time in consultation
with the labour representatives.
To inculcate in the minds of the workers the spirit of service,
cooperation and dutifulness and develop in them a sense of
responsibility towards the nation in general and industry in particular.
To educate the labour by organising worker’s training classes,
study circles, guest lectures, seminars, symposia, excursions etc. in
cooperation with institutions and organisations having similar aims and
objects such as the Central Board for workers Education, Labour Research
Centre, Universities etc., and also to maintain libraries.
To publish or cause publication of journals, periodicals,
pamphlets, pictures, books and many other types of literature mainly
concerning labour and their interests and to purchase, sell &
To establish, encourage and organise Labour Research Centres and
Generally to take such other steps as may be necessary to
ameliorate the social, economic, cultural, civic and general conditions
of the workers. For sound health of workers and society BMS has been
against the use of any type of drugs, liquor, alcohols and smoking.
To render assistance or to establish cooperative societies,
welfare institutions, clubs etc. for the workers and their families in
has a heritage of thousands of year where the dignity of labour as well
as that of the labourers was well established. The dire need of the hour
is to re-establish the same – The Dignity of Labour by
observing our own labour day. National labour day was rediscovered to be
on Vishwakarma Jayanti, Vishwakarma, being the first craftsman
– artisan, sculptor, engineer and in fact the traditional symbol of
hard labour. This falls on Kanya Sankranti of each year. BMS,
since its inception, has been observing Vishwakarma Jayanti on 17th
September of English Calendar year as National Labour Day.
While functioning since 1955 it
has given to the labour movement new slogans benefiting its ideology:
Mata Ki Jai
We will work in the interest of
the country and will take full wage for the work done.
The sacrifice, penance and
martyrdom are identification of BMS.
Workers unite the world.
Industrialise the nation,
Nationalise the Labour, Labourise the Industry.
Bonus to all wage earners – as
Stop discrimination Income – ratio should be one and ten.
TRENDS IN THE TRADE UNION MOVEMENT
has contributed quite a few new ideas which have virtually become trend
The non-political nature of BMS
has now gained currency and has become acceptable not only in India but
also abroad. The XII World Trade Union Congress of WFTU, held in Moscow,
in 1990. Adopted a document to this effect.
BMS doesn’t believes in class
concept and rejects the theory propounded by Marx. Instead its struggle
and fight is against the injustice on workers from whatever quarters.
Being non-political, its attitude
towards any democratically elected government is governed by the
principle of “Responsive Co-operation”.
BMS idea of “Labourisation” of Industries – a stage where
workers would collectively own and manage the industrial units has
initiated a national debate on it. This experiment has been successfully
undertaken in new Central Jute Mills, West Bengal.
NEW ECONOMIC POLICY (NEP) AND NEW INDUSTRIAL POLICY (NIP)
opposing the above policies BMS was first to give slogan for 2nd
war of economic independence. At the same time it has suggested some
positive alternatives. It has vigorously condemned the object surrender
to the conditionalities of the IMF and WB as that would amount to giving
up our sovereignty. BMS considers the movement as an opportunity to
built up Swadeshi Model of Economy. Hence it has inspired movement for
the use to Swadeshi Products as against the foreign or MNC products.
It has offered to cooperate in
turning the loss making PSUs profitable where practicable, it has agreed
to induce the workers to take up their unit to run them on sound lines.
To curb excessive profiteering,
which is the main culprit behind price rise, it has suggested that the
Government should take steps to make the consumer aware of the cost of
production of each product of daily use. This awareness will serve as a
watchdog to restrain the prices.
BMS is also of the view that for
creating enough job opportunities, agricultural development should get
more attention as also agro-based and small and tiny industries.
Vishwakarma Sector (self employment sector) should get more
encouragement than at present.
On modern technology, BMS while not being antagonistic, would
prefer developing our own technology to suit our conditions. From this
angle national technology policy should be drawn.
one of the most representative organisations of Labour, BMS has a place
in the Indian delegation to the annual International Labour Conference
held at GENEVA every year.
Being largest Central Trade Union
Organisation of India, BMS is leading the Indian Labour delegation to
ILO Geneva each year on behalf of Indian workforce.
Special session of United Nations
Organisation was held on 5-9 June, 2000 in NEW YORK on “Women-2000,
Gender equality, Development and peace for 21st Century”.
Km. Suchitra Mahapatra, General Secretary of Akhil Bharatiya Aanganwadi
Karmachari Mahasangh (BMS) participated on behalf of Indian Women
It works in close relations with
the ILO office in Delhi, participating in all its national and regional
level seminars/workshops, its endeavour being to contribute its best.
BMS is not affiliated with any
International Confederation but maintains cordial relations with such
Instead of giving call for the workers of the world to unite, it
has given a call to the workers all over, to unite the world.
Shram-Shodh Mandal” formed by BMS is a research based institution,
established on 26th May, 1980, to promote objective studies
based on impartial examination of facts and development in the industrial
field. The other activities are:-
Survey for Social Causes.
Critical appraisal of Annual Budget.
Workshop and Tripartite conference on labour laws.
(4) Impact assessment of new economic policy and new industrial policy
on labour and economy.
PANTH SAMADAR MANCH
Mazdoor Sangh firmly believes in nondiscrimination of labour bases on
caste creed or religions. BMS believes in equal respect for all religion.
To promote the same sense of harmony among the labour, BMS in 1994,
founded a forum known as Sarva Panth Samadar Manch. Maulana Wahiduddin and
Jal. P.Jimmi were the founder members of this organisation. 25th
March of each year is celebrated as “Ekatma Diwas” to commemorate the
holy sacrifice of Ganesh Shankar Vidyarthi for the cause of Hindu Muslim
SHRAMIK SHIKSHA SANSTHA
on resolution adopted by executive committee of BMS help at Simla on 26th
April, 1982, a Vishwakarma labour training institute was established
having its headquarter at Nagpur. Regular training camps, workshops etc.
have been organised by this institute in collaboration with Central Board
for Workers Education.
1995 a Pryavaran Manch was set up to pragmatise the activity of Trade
Unions, which was till that time limited to wage, bonus, etc. It is the
obvious responsibility of the labour to keep their surroundings clean,
safe and pollution free. 3rd December, the Bhopal disaster is
mourned and remembered each year as “No More Bhopal Day”.
CHETNA & VISHWAKARMA SANKET
Chetna – a Hindi monthly and Vishwakarma Sanket – a English monthly is
regularly published by BMS from Central Office in Delhi to keep their
cadres well informed about the news and views on various issues of the
contemporary national scenario. Some other important journals and
periodicals published by state BMS and federations in their local
languages are Mazdoor Bharti (Malayali monthly), Mazdoor Samvad (Bangla),
Mazdoor Vaarta (Marathi Pakshik), BMS Sedi (Tamil) and Mazdoor Chetna
S. No. Name of Book
(3) Income, Wages, Productivity & Employment
Rashtriya Ekata Avam Shramik
(5) Computer – The Job Eliminater
Indias Planned Poverty
(9) Charter of Demands
(10) Industrial Relations
(11) Labourisation of Industries Need of the Hour
(12) Dankal Draft
(14) Karyakarta Ki Manobhumika
(16) Lakshya Aur Karya
(17) Consumer: A Sovereign without Sovereignty
(18) Sapta Krama
(19) Story of Central Jute Mill
(20) Trade Union Movement in India
(22) Third Way
Shunya Se Srishti Tak
(24) Second War Of Economic Independence
alias DATTOPANT THENGADI
BHARATIYA MAZDOOR SANGH
Shri Dattopant Thengadi
on 10the November, 1920 at Arvi Wardha district of Maharashtra is well
known as a Scholar and organiser. For over half a century he has been a
Pracharak of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh
founded by him four decades ago is presently the foremost labour
organisation in the country. He is also the founder of Bharatiya Kisan
Sangh, Samajik Samrasata Manch, Swadeshi Jagaran Manch, Sarve Panth
Samadar Manch and Paryavaran Manch. He is also founder Member of Akhil
Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad and Sahakar Bharati.
Shri Thengadi was a member of the Rajya Sabha for
12 years. He is widely travelled. In addition to continuous organisational
work to strengthen nationalist feelings in the masses, Shri Thengadi has
been a prolific writer in English, Hindi and Marathi. The books and
occasional booklets authored by him number over a hundred. These include
“Nationalist Pursuit” (1992) and “Our National Renaissance. Its
Directions and Destination” (reprinted, 1993), both published by Sahitya