India: Trades Unions Material

Scope and Content

Pamphlets featuring constitutions, platforms and reports issued by the All-India Trade Union Congress, the Indian National Trade Union Congress, the Labour Progressive Federation, the People's Union for Democratic Rights and the People's Union for Civil Liberties.

Administrative / Biographical History

The trade union movement in India inevitably became bound up with the independence movement, with the foundation of the All-India Trade Union Congress (AITUC)in 1920 reflecting the increase in political and national consciousness following the First World War. An indication of the degree to which the economic struggle was subsumed in favour of the fight for independence can be found in the split which followed independence, with the Indian National Congress forming the Indian National Trade Union Congress (INTUC) in response to communist domination of the AITUC. The struggles of these umbrella organisations to work inside and outside the system throughout a period marked by increasing socio-economic and political crisis (encompassing the curtailing of trade union freedoms during the emergency and the wave of strikes under the Janata Party administration) are reflected in the materials here, as are the more generalised protests against the erosion of civil rights in this period by the likes of the People's Union for Democratic Rights (PUDR).


Alphabetically by union, and then in rough chronological order.

Access Information

Open to all for research purposes; access is free for anyone in higher education.

Acquisition Information

Institute of Commonwealth Studies

Other Finding Aids

Records at item level on library catalogue (SASCAT).

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Daniel Millum, Political Archives Project Officer at the Institutes of Commonwealth and Latin American Studies.

Conditions Governing Use

Copies can usually be obtained - apply to library staff.

Custodial History

The Commonwealth Trades Unions Materials collection was built up alongside that of the Political Parties, which was begun in 1960-61, and likewise concentrated on the collection of primary material. The main method of gathering material has been to appeal directly to trades unions throughout the Commonwealth, though contributions from Institute members and staff following visits to relevant countries have been significant. More recently material has been collected by means of downloading documents from the websites of major union organisations.


Further accruals are expected, some in electronic form.

Related Material

See also India: Pressure Groups Material (PG.II) and India: Political Party Material (PP.II), as well as Political Party, Trades Unions and Pressure Group Materials for other Commonwealth countries and related material in the library's main classified sequence, all held at the ICS.

Geographical Names