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					       Trade Union Training on Information Technology
               (Turin/Vienna : 19/2/2001 – 16/3/2001

                              Country Report

                                                     PIJUSH CHAKRABORTY
                                                     HMS INDIA

Respected Chairperson
& dear comrades,

       On behalf of Hind Mazdoor Sabha one of the Central Trade Union body in India having
4.7 million members on roll, I convey my gratitude to the officials of International Training
Centre of the ILO, Turin, one of the major and powerful Trade Union Organization of the world.

        The Country, which I represent in this august forum, is India. It is a vast country and as
such called as Sub-Continent. The population of India is 846 million (Census 1991) . India is
situated Sub-Himalayan Region and stretched over the land are of 3287263 square kilometer.
Politically it has got a federal structure, uniting the 25 states having their own Governments with
the Federal Government at top with Capital at New Delhi. There are bicameral parliament,
running the Central Government with assemblies at states. The India is a Social Secular

       The Countrymen are multilingual. The official language is Hindi. Besides there are
languages such as Bengali, Aassamese , Urdu, Tamil, Telegu, Malayalam and English etc. etc.

       After about 200 years of British rule, India attained freedom on 15th August’ 1947 with
having backlog in Health and Education. The percentage of literacy as per 1991 census, are for
the male, it is 64.13% and for female it is 39.29% Average literacy figure is 52.21%.

        During the last 50 years much progress has been achieved by the Country but the
problem of un-employment and under employment of the labour force has only grown more
acute. From about 0.5 million in 1953, the member of job-seekers on the rolls of Employment
Exchange had gone upto over 37 millions by 1996.

       The total work force of India calculated 37.46% of the total population. Out if this
77.75% belongs to male and 22.25% belongs to females. The total work force in organized sector
is 12 million. The average income per capita is low as Rs.9660.00 ($225 Aprox) per year.

        The Social Security for workers in India is varied in nature. When almost all Government
employees are covered with monthly Pension Scheme but workers in Private Sectors are almost

       A Portion of Government Employees are getting free medical assistance from the
Hospitals set up by the Government and rest are covered by Employees Insurance Scheme. The
                                            // 2 //
Scheme provides re-imbursment of medical assistance costs. However, a vast number of daily
rated employees called as Casual labours/ contract labours do not get medical Assistance.

       Although Government of India ratified the ILO Convention for 8 hours Work, but this
was not fully implemented. Workers are put to work longer hours such as 12 hours a day which
can be spread up upto 16 hours.

       India has legislated many Acts to protect the workers such as, Factories Act, Minimum
Wage Act, Payment Acts, Contract Labour Regulation and Abolition Act, Payment of wages
Act, Industrial Dispute Act and Equal work Equal Pay Act etc.

       But the implementation machineries are very weak and in many cases it is time
consuming . The un-organized sector are not able to bear the cost of remedial action in the Court
of Law.

        The Indian Labour force is now facing the on-slaught. The safety net as stated above are
getting Shambled in the name of Globalization of economy and flexibility of Labour. The Indian
Companies as well as Multination Companies are hand to hand to create a labour market where
hire and fire will rule. The Trade Unions are very much critical for the proposed amendment to
Factories Act, wherein Employment of women workers is prohibited between 7 P.M. to 5-30
A.M. Thousands of workers are advised to choice the option with VRS/Golden handshakes to
have an exit route from job.

        The Hind Mazdoor Sabha (HMS) is fighting tooth and nail to appose any anti-labour
legislation in the country but finding it difficult as both the Government and employers are in the
same wave length. It would be a worth mentioning that HMS during the last decade has been
agitating for inclusion “The Right to Work” as fundamental Right in the Indian Constitution.
HMS observe 24th March each year as Right to Work day.

        The gender inequality in India is indulged by the private Employers. There is still no
effective remedial for sexual harassment in work places. Although the Supreme Court of India
issued guideline for protection of women workers in work places from the sexual harassment
but employers are showing less or no interest on the subject.

        The gross domestic product of India is at Rs.142670 crores. While the economic growth
has maintained itself at over 5% in term of GDP for the most part of last 10-15 years, the
employment growth rate in the economy is declining. Indian economy grew at the rate of 6.4%
on an average between 1992 & 1996. During this period, labour force grew a little over 2.1%
P.a. on an average and employment @ 1.8% P.A.

        The Hind Mazdoor Sabha believes that a peaceful world only can promise the prosperity
of nations, ensure the democracy, which in turn can give workers to exercise their rights. The
Hind Mazdoor Sabha of India strongly support that the Sovereign Nations of the Sub-Continent
such as India, Pakisthan, Bangladash & Srilanka should maintain cordial neighbour hood and
denounce the Nuclear tests for the survival of mankind.
                                     // 3 //


TEL : 91-11-3315519
FAX : 91-11-3736037
E-Mail : hms

President : Mr.A.Subhramaniam,
Union of origin : Transport & Dock Workers Union, Mumbai

General secretary : UMRAOMAL PUROHIT
Union of origin : Western Railway Employees Union, Mumbai.

Number of full time officers : 19
Number of membership: about 4.7 million
(Among the total female members are : 15%).

Number of affiliated Unions & Federations : Over 2300 Unions & 16 Industrial Federations.

Regional organizations details :
HMS has state councils in 18 States of India and 16 All India Industrial Federations, covering
industries like Railways, Port & Docks, Steel, Textiles, Road Transport, Cement, Sugar,
Agriculture & Rural Workers, Coal, Chemicals, Electricity. Hotels, Plantations, Municipal
Employees, Building & Wood workers etc.

National convention ( including special conventions)

(a) Frequency : Biennial (i.e. every 2 years)
(b) Besides the biennial convention, hms working committee/national executive meets 4-5 times
    a year.

International affiliation (including the year of affiliation)

Founding member of ICFTU in 1948, also affiliated to icftu-apro;

Founding member of SARTUC ( South Asian Regional Trade Union Council)

Relationship with the Government :
HMS is the only National Centre in India which is independent of political parties, Employers &
the Government; HMS is recognized by the Government of India as 4th largest National Centre in
India and we are given representation on the Tripartite & Bipartite bodies..
                                              // 4//

Relationship with employer’s organizations:

HMS is also recognized by the employer’s organizations as National trade Union centre and we
represent workers in the bipartite forums and negotiate/discuss policy issues, along with other
major trade unions centers.

Relationship with other national centers :
There are many national centres in India, there are also joint forums of all these national centres,
where many labour issues & campaign are jointly planned. Among such forums are : National
Campaign Committee of CTUOs, Committee of Public Sector Trade Unions, Sponsoring
Committee of Indian Trade Unions; Usually, All India strike Calls are given jointly, as also in
case of Industries wide strikes calls. . Besides these,, Joint actions are carried on by various
industrial federations, affiliated to different CTUOs on industry specific issues. For instance, All
India Sugar Workers Coordination Committee, Textile Workers Joint Action Committee,
Agriculture Workers Coordination Committee etc.

Support to Political Parties :
HMS as an organization does not support any political party. Individual Unions, affiliated to
HMS are free to support any Candidate in the Elections to the Nations Parliament. In general, the
Unions affiliated to HMS do not support Extreme left wing or the Right Wing Parties.

Names of periodical publications:
HMS Central office brings out a monthly 8-12 pages News letter in Hindi & English. It is called
HMS Bulletin.

Besides this, HMS also has a number of other publications/ education materials for use of trade
union leaders in their discussions/negotiations with Government & Management officials.

Use/application of Information Technology

So far HMS is concern, Information Technology is in its preliminary stage. HMS National
Centre and some of the Head Quarters of its affiliates have installed internet services. Efforts are
being made to develop the same initially in the bigger Unions. For the first time a 3 days
workshop is going to be launched by HMS National Centre in Mumbai from March 4th to 6th
where 20 numbers second and third line leaders from various Unions have been invited to

Major Operational problems
The financial position of Trade Unions in India is very weak. The Trade Union’s main source of
Income is the income from Memberships. No asset worth the names are possed by the Trade
union. This economic hardship is an hindrance to the Trade Union. The staff requires for Union
Administration is not commensurate with workload. The Trade Unions in most cases can’t pay
the same salaries and other fringe benefit at per to the workers to which Industries/Services it
belongs. It is almost impossible to keep vehicles for visiting various points even the telephone

and fax facilities not available. Means of Communication mostly done through Postal department
maintained by Government which is cheapest one.

Main problems concerning the introduction of IT

The Branch offices in many places of a Trade Union, have got no resource to purchase Computer
and also man-power to use the same.

In Headquarter offices of the Trade Unions, a few of them purchased Computer machine but no
manpower to handle the same is available.

Internet connections yet to be thought of.

                              Thanking You all.

                                                     PIJUSH CHAKRABORTY
                                                     HMS   -   INDIA