Social Scientist. v 7, no. 84 (July 1979) p. 3.

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Parties and Politics in Indian Trade Union Movement—Early Phase (i()i^i()24)

THE formation of a number of central trade union bodies in India—All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC), Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU), Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) and others—is not accidental. It has a history of its own and is intimately connected with the socio-political conditions because the functioning of trade unions cannot be divorced from the general current of socio-political movements. It is 'polities' that gave birth to the Indian trade union movement and it is 'polities' again that largely accelerated or retarded its growth at different points of time.

It is important to remember that theories of trade unionism do not precede but evolve out of trade union practices. They are clinched in different forms by different theorists on the basis of the latter's own understanding of the problems and trends of trade union movement and the socio-political environment in which such movements occur. So, the fundamental question regarding the role and goal of trade unionism is as much a subject of debate today as it was at the formative period of Indian trade unionism. Hence it will be futile to seek or expect identity of views on this point atnong the different union leaders or organizers because it cannot and did not exist at any point of time.

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