Committee of Public Sector Trade Unions (2023)

The emergence and sustenance of united trade movement of the Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSU) Workers in India has a very long history. The very beginning can be traced in the joint convention of the CPSU workers held at Hyderabad on 23-24 December 1977. That period has been significant for the reason that a new political situation emerged in the country with defeat at the hustings the most atrocious avowedly anti-worker authoritarian ‘Internal Emergency’ (June 1975 to November 1977) regime of Indira Gandhi and the Janata Party Government came to power at the centre. Although CPSTU formally came into existence a few years later, actually this convention laid the foundation stone for the CPSTU.

The period since the Hyderabad convention, the country witnessed regular hectic activities of the Central Public Sector Undertakings (CPSU) workers jointly organised by CITU, AITUC, HMS, BMS and the two Apex Forums of CPSU workers at Bangalore and Hyderabad. The struggles took place at industry, regional and national levels.

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The major issues of the period concerning which the struggles took place were against wage freeze steps of the Government, against anti-worker unilateral guidelines issued by Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) directed at curbing the right to collective bargaining, against fraud in compilation of Consumer Price Index (CPI) and proper fixation of rate of Dearness Allowance, Bonus to all workers etc etc. The other most important issue of the same period was the fight against atrocious Industrial Relations Bill designed to take away the trade union rights of the workers, opposition to Compulsory Deposit Scheme (CDS) etc.

The CITU has been taking very seriously the joint movement of the CPSU workers right from the inception. The organisational strength of CITU amongst the CPSU workers all over the country since then has been growing rapidly. Rajib Gandhi Government, in the mid-eighties, took concrete steps to ideologically and financially weaken public sector in the country. The ground work was done by the infamous Arjun Sengupta Committee Report which recommended taking away the workers collective bargaining rights among other steps. CITU took initiative to defeat this design and unify the public sector workers against such moves.

A related important development of the period was a convention of the CPSU trade the unions affiliated to CITU and also the unions friendly to CITU was held at Bangalore on 27-28 May 1985 which was attended by 284 delegates representing 84 trade unions from different CPSU workers. Reporting about the convention it was noted that, “the Bangalore convention has been a turning point in the PSU trade union movement. This initiative of CITU paved the way for consolidating the unity of PSU workers and ultimately the CPSTU came into being.”

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Amidst the aforesaid on going struggles of the CPSU workers a joint national convention took place at New Delhi on 21-22 October 1986. Around 300 trade unions and 50 National Federations of the CPSU workers represented by over 800 delegates participated in the convention. A 14-point Charter of Demands (CoD) was adopted in the convention. The programmes to press for the CoD finalised in the convention included a nationwide strike on 21st January 1987. The convention expressed its firm resolve to fight the policy of demolition and privatisation of CPSUs initiated by the then Rajiv Gandhi Government.

The other historic decision of the same convention was the formation of Committee of Public Sector Trade Unions (CPSTU). The founding constituents of the CPSTU were CITU, AITUC, HMS, BMS, Joint Action Front (JAF), Bangalore and Co-ordination Committee of Public Sector Trade Unions, Hyderabad.

As a sequel to the demolition of Babri Masjid and accompanied communal holocaust in the country designed and executed by the ‘Sangh Parivar’ in 1992 the BMS got separated from the CPSTU.
CPSTU took formal shape of a united platform of the major segment of the trade union movement in the country including the core and strategic sectors through a long drawn phase of united struggles of the CPSU workers. It has truly emerged from the thick of struggles. CPSTU is the concrete manifestation of the concept of Unity and Struggle. In fact CPSTU is the longest ever united forum of trade unions continuing its active existence in the country. No other joint initiative or forums of trade unions in the country existed for such a long period. At the peak of its activities the CPSTU had really represented around 20 lakhs (2 million) workers spread over around 200 CPSU in the country.

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The contributions of CPSTU strengthening the trade union movement in the country have been huge in dimension and basic in character. The activities of CPSTU contributed in broadening the functioning frame work of the major industrial sector trade union movement from the confine of factory level to industry-wise national level. The major industry-wise national federations really derived strength from the activities of CPSTU. At the instance of CPSTU the industry-wise national level joint activities of trade unions in different industrial sectors got a big boost. Thus the working class movement of the country switched over from local level consciousness to national level consciousness as a consequence of the emergence of CPSTU.

Yet another major area in which the contribution of the CPSTU must be counted the most is the realisation of PSU-wise apex level collective bargaining system. This achievement of the CPSTU has made significant contributions in many ways in our trade union movement. One of the basic rights of the workers i.e., Right to Collective Bargaining got institutionalised for the workers of the CPSUs covering the almost all the major industrial sectors in the country. This has also shown the way to others.

Over the period the compensation package of the CPSU workers achieved the height of setting standard in the country. This has been possible entirely due to the united strength and struggles of the around 20 lakh PSU workers engineered by the CPSTU. Before the surfacing of the collective agreements of the CPSU workers the situation was pitiable. But it is important to understand and remember that but for leadership provided by CPSTU in fighting the policies of the Government in restricting the right to collective bargaining and achieving quality compensation package it would not have been possible to achieve by the individual industries or CPSUs as it is before us today. These are of course, apart from the contribution of CPSTU in the general trade union movement of the country in fighting the anti-worker policies initiated by the ruling classes from time to time.

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And with the introduction of the World Bank and IMF prescribed economic policies by the Congress party Government in July 1991 and pushed with added degree of onslaught by the every successive Government at the centre focusing all round attack on public sector, the fight to protect public sector became the most urgent issue before the CPSU workers in particular and CPSTU unfailingly played its historical role. Before 1991, the period preceding to the introduction of the disastrous Fund-Bank dictated economic policies, the CPSU workers conducted many long drawn battles including many strike struggles for the cause of public sector industries and its workers. These struggles were led by CPSTU. However in the current onslaught against public sector since 1991, the struggles has attained new dimension necessitating broader level of intervention of the patriotic democratic movement of the country and the CPSTU is a front ranking constituent of these struggles.

However, CPSTU is really the source of inspiration and symbol of struggles for the CPSU workers in the country. Presently the top most priority task before the CPSU workers is to protect the public sector from the liquidating onslaught of the policies of liberalisation and privatisation. At the same time the urgent economic issues pertaining to the current round of collective bargaining for the 7th round of wage negotiations is also important. CPSTU is definitely destined to discharge its historical responsibilities in this respect.

FAQs

What are the 3 most important functions of trade union? ›

Trade unions:
  • negotiate agreements with employers on pay and conditions.
  • discuss major changes to the workplace such as large scale redundancy.
  • discuss members' concerns with employers.
  • accompany members in disciplinary and grievance meetings.
  • provide members with legal and financial advice.

Can I refuse to cross a picket line UK? ›

In no circumstances does a picket have power, under the law, to require other people to stop, or to compel them to listen or to do what he asks them to do. A person who decides to cross a picket line must be allowed to do so.

Can I strike if I didn't vote? ›

If I voted 'no' to strike action or did not vote in the ballot, can I still take strike action? Yes, provided the ballot at your workplace has met the required legal thresholds.

What is the importance of trade union? ›

Trade unions defend their current positions, servicing workers closest to them and in sectors where they are strong, for instance workers in a formal employment relationship and in big industries or the public sector.

What are the 4 types of trade union? ›

There are four main types:
  • (i) Craft unions representing skilled workers from one occupation. ...
  • (ii) General unions representing mainly unskilled workers from many occupations. ...
  • (iii) Industrial unions representing mainly workers in one industry. ...
  • (iv)

Why you should never cross a picket line? ›

To help maximise the impact of a picket by other workers and to show support for those workers, PDA members are encouraged to avoid crossing any picket line, at any time. This may be easier for people to do in their private life and away from their own workplace.

How many people are legally allowed on a picket line? ›

The Code of Practice on picketing says usually there should be no more than 6 people outside an entrance to a workplace. If you don't stop picketing when told do so by police, you can be arrested.

Can I be sacked for refusing to cross a picket line? ›

Can I be fired for not crossing a picket line? Even if you are not directly involved in the strike, you can refuse to cross the picket line, you will be classed as part of the industrial strike.

Do I get paid if I go on strike? ›

Yes, we can expect employers to refuse to pay staff taking industrial action. The law makes it clear that employers can deduct pay when staff are on strike. However, where pay deductions are made these should at all times be reasonable.

Who Cannot go on strike? ›

A few professions are not allowed to strike. Police officers, for example, are banned from taking strike action. Nurses have an agreement that they should only walk out if it does not risk the wellbeing of patients.

How many days can you strike for? ›

You have twelve weeks to strike

Although you are exempt from dismissal when taking part in a union organised labour strike, this is limited to a specific time period. Andrew explained: “Industrial action is only protected for a twelve-week period, meaning that you are only safe from dismissal during this time.

What are the 3 benefits of trade? ›

Trade is critical to America's prosperity - fueling economic growth, supporting good jobs at home, raising living standards and helping Americans provide for their families with affordable goods and services.

What are 3 benefits of unions? ›

Unions help reduce wage gaps for women workers and workers of color. Union members have better job safety protections and better paid leave than non-union workers, and are more secure exercising their rights in the workplace.

What are examples of trade union? ›

Craft union
  • United Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners of America.
  • International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers.
  • Laborers' International Union of North America.
  • American Nurses Association.
  • National Football League Players Association.
  • International Union of Painters and Allied Trades.

What is a trade union called? ›

trade union, also called labour union, association of workers in a particular trade, industry, or company created for the purpose of securing improvements in pay, benefits, working conditions, or social and political status through collective bargaining.

What are the 2 types of trade? ›

Generally, there are two types of trade—domestic and international. Domestic trades occur between parties in the same countries. International trade occurs between two or more countries. A country that places goods and services on the international market is exporting those goods and services.

What are the 2 types of union? ›

There are two types of unions: the horizontal union, in which all members share a common skill, and the vertical union, composed of workers from across the same industry.

What are the 2 main functions of a trade union movement? ›

The typical activities of trade unions include providing assistance and services to their members, collectively bargaining for better pay and conditions for all workers, working to improve the quality of public services, political campaigning and industrial action.

What are the two responsibilities of trade unions? ›

Although the main purpose of trade unions is to regulate relations between employees and their employers, trade unions perform other functions in society which can be broadly referred to as their social responsibility role.

What happens if a union worker crosses the picket line? ›

Union members can be disciplined by their union for crossing a picket line but unions may not discipline members if refusing to cross a picket line clearly violates the no-strike clause of the contract the covers the member in question. National Labor Relations Act Section 7 codified at 29 U.S.C. §157.

What do you call a person who crosses the picket line? ›

One of the most well-known union words is “scab.” It's a name given to workers who break strikes and cross picket lines. But when the term first became part of American vernacular on Nov. 20, 1816, it covered anything a worker did that was anti-union.

Can you strike if not a union member? ›

Non-union staff and striking

If non-union members go on strike, they are protected from dismissal and have the same rights as union members, as long as the industrial action is lawful.

Can I cross another unions picket line? ›

Crossing a picket line

You have the right to cross a picket line if you don't support the industrial action being taken. If you're a union member and you're disciplined by your union for crossing a picket line, you can complain to an Industrial Tribunal.

Can union members picket? ›

In a blow to retail businesses in California, the California Supreme Court has held that labor unions have the right to picket in front of privately owned store entrances.

Can I visit a picket line? ›

Members of the public are not prevented from visiting a picket line to show their support. However, such visitors should not form part of the picket or take part in picketing activity (such as seeking to peacefully persuade others not to work in support of the strike).

Do I have to tell my employer I am going on strike? ›

You are under no obligation to inform your employer in advance as to whether you will be taking part in strike action.

What are the two grounds that employees can make a strike? ›

The law recognizes 2 grounds for the valid exercise of the right to strike or lockout, namely:Collective Bargaining Deadlock (CBD) and/or Unfair Labor Practice (ULP).

Can the workers be denied the right to go on strike? ›

Thus, there is a guaranteed fundamental right to form association or Labour unions but there is no fundamental right to go on strike.

Can a union member be kicked out? ›

Expulsion for a conduct reason

A trade union can expel you for conduct that it finds unacceptable. But a trade union may not expel you for the following conduct: current or former membership of a trade union. current or former employment.

Can you be sacked after 12 weeks of strike? ›

After 12 weeks, you can be dismissed if you take industrial action and your employer has tried to settle the dispute. For example, your employer may bring in advisers from Acas to help find a solution.

How long do union strikes usually last? ›

Work stoppages lasted an average of 41.1 days over the past decade, according to Bloomberg Law data.

Can I leave the union? ›

Answer: In Pattern Makers v. NLRB, 473 U.S. 95 (1985), the United States Supreme Court held that union members have the right to resign their union membership at any time. Of course, the decision to resign is wholly yours.

What are the rules of trade union? ›

- Every registered Trade Union shall be a body corporate by the name under which it is registered, and shall have perpetual succession and a common seal with power to acquire and hold both movable and immovable property and to contract, and shall by the said name sue and be sued.

Can you fire someone who is striking? ›

Under federal law, you cannot be fired for participating in a protected strike or picketing against your employer.

Do you lose pay if you strike? ›

You are not entitled to be paid for days you did not work. An employer's failure to pay when workers go on strike is a lawful deduction from wages.

Do unions pay strikers? ›

What is strike pay? Strike pay is a payment provided by trade unions to a striking member of the union. The payment made by unions is made to support the entitled workers in satisfying their basic needs while they are on strike.

Can you use vacation time during a strike? ›

Can I use vacation or sick days to be paid during a strike? No. Sick days and vacation days cannot be used during a strike. A strike is about making a sacrifice now for something better in the long run by withholding our paid labor, which includes paid vacation and sick days.

What are the 3 types of trade? ›

So, in this blog, we'll discuss the 3 different types of international trade – Export Trade, Import Trade and Entrepot Trade.
  • Export Trade. Export trade is when goods manufactured in a specific country are purchased by the residents of another country. ...
  • Import Trade. ...
  • Entrepot Trade.

How many types of trade are there? ›

There are two major types of trade both of which have two subparts as well: Domestic trade. Wholesale trade. Retail trade.

What is trade answer in one sentence? ›

Trade is the activity of buying, selling, or exchanging goods or services between people, firms, or countries.

What are 4 advantages of unions? ›

Through their union, employees have the ability to negotiate from a position of strength with employers over wages, benefits, workplace health and safety, job training and other work-related issues. Unions also serve an important role making sure that management acts fairly and treats its employees with respect.

What makes a good union? ›

A successful union is an organization that figures out what people's hopes are, what their dreams are, what they want." That's right. A successful union is a union that gets people to believe that these need not be mere dreams.

Why do workers join trade unions? ›

Trade unions are independent organisations that represent workers to their employers. If you join a trade union, you are joining a group that will negotiate workplace issues such as salary, hours of work, and other conditions, on your behalf.

Why is trade union important? ›

Trade unions defend their current positions, servicing workers closest to them and in sectors where they are strong, for instance workers in a formal employment relationship and in big industries or the public sector.

What is the purpose of a union? ›

A labor union is a group of two or more employees who join together to advance common interests such as wages, benefits, schedules and other employment terms and conditions.

What is the main function of trade? ›

To achieve higher wages and better working conditions. To raise the status of workers as a part of industry. To protect labours against victimization and injustice.

What are the 3 union models? ›

It is easiest to differentiate among three distinct levels within the labor movement: local unions, national unions, and federations.

How do trade unions help employees? ›

The typical activities of trade unions include providing assistance and services to their members, collectively bargaining for better pay and conditions for all workers, working to improve the quality of public services, political campaigning and industrial action.

What are the 5 benefits of trade? ›

7 Key Benefits of International Trade
  • More Job Opportunities. ...
  • Expanding Target Markets & Increasing Revenues. ...
  • Improved Risk Management. ...
  • Greater Variety of Goods Available. ...
  • Better Relations Between Countries. ...
  • Enhanced Company Reputation. ...
  • Opportunities to Specialize.
31 Aug 2022

What are 4 principles of trade? ›

Successful traders utilize a wide variety of approaches to attack the markets. Irrespective of the approach, virtually every top trader abides by four key principles: trade with the trend, cut losses short, let profits run, and manage risk.

What was the first union? ›

The National Labor Union was the first attempt in the United States to organize a national federation of labor when labor groups met in Baltimore beginning on August 20, 1866.

What are unions called? ›

Officially known as a “labor organization,” and also called a “trade union” or a “workers union,” a labor union selects representatives to negotiate with employers in a process known as collective bargaining.

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