Emergence of Trade Union


After the industrial revolution of 18th century, the mode of economy had seen the birth of capitalism. Industrial growth resulted in the raise of owners. In India, the economic life style of the people was agrarian by nature. Due to the European industrial developments, the mode of economic life among the Indians met an extreme change. Forcefully or with some needs, the hard working Indians engaged themselves in factory works. In the beginning, the workers and their welfare where not even a symple concept among the minds of the owners. But after the trade unions came in to exist, the factory workers where given a satisfactory benefits such as, Break time during the work, First aid boxes used when the workers met any accidental injury and so on. So this trade unions played an important role in the development of workers’s condition in their work place.

Marxism behind the emergence of trade unions:

When the capitalist mode of economy was in the full swing of it’s injustice against the labours, Karl Marx! A social scientist came up with a kind of a new concept which has welfare as it’s prime motive. It was nothing but, The concept of communism. Communism existed also before Marx! But the communism which we known today, is completely carries Marxist ideas. Marx wrote a famous book with his comrade “the communist manifesto” Which speaks a lot about the basic inputs of communism. According to Marx, the labours should be treated by the owners as employees, not as slaves!  Marxist ideas gave SPARC to the labours’s voices. Thus with the help of Marx’s writings, The roots of trade union has their origin.

History of trade unions:

The main aim of trade unions is to establish a good relationship between the workers and the owners, As such relationship was not fruitful before 19th century. So in order to pass on the voices of labours to the owners, many trade unions came in to exist after 18th century. In the year 1810, the general union of labours was formed in england by some of the skilled workers. Probably, that was the first ever trade union. In India, the trade unions started to have their existence since 1875. More than other countries, India and it’s labours where benefited a lot by the trade unions. Because in India alone the class inequality was based on cast system. Inspite of benefits, drawbacks stands more As there where many collapses in the unions themselves because diversities.

Benefits given by trade unions:

The establishment of trade unions strengthened the economic bonding between the workers and the owners. So that for some times, workers’s demand can reach the years of owners. In fact I can say that, laws and acts passed by various governments on the globe had their roots in the formation of trade unions. For example In India, we have the ESI facility for the welfare of the labours or employees. The ESI act was passed for the benefit of industrial workers by the government of independent India in 1948. The act turned effective in 1952. The employees State insurance act looks at the health care of Indian industrial workers.


There is a famous poem which I studied in 10th standard. “The cry of the children”. Which portrays the sufferings of the children who worked in factories during. The industrial revolution. In the poem the children say “we go to medow! Not to play, but sleep!” That was due to tiredness of working for long. Such inhuman activities of capitalism where slitely reduced at present! Lot of thanks to the efforts of trade unions.


Communist manifesto by Karl Marx and Fedrick Angels.

Naalai (Tamil novel).