Labour Investigation Committee (1946)||
Broadly speaking, the workers' associations with the exception of the Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association, the Railwaymen's Unions, the Mazdoor Sabha of Cawnpore and some others, have not done much by way of welfare activities. Lack of funds has been mainly responsible for this. The Ahmedabad Textile Labour Association spends 60 to 70 percent. of its income (i.e., about Rs. 40,000) on welfare activities, which comprise day and night schools, a residential boarding house for working-class girls, study homes for boys, reading rooms and libraries, physical culture centres, etc. For this purpose, a special staff of about 25 Inspectors is appointed, "who come into touch with workers every day, and help them to solve their difficulties in the residential areas and attend to the manifold aspects of the workers' life with a view to develop their internal strength and raise their status."1 Some of the Railwaymen's Unions have organised co-operative societies, and various kinds of funds for the provision of specific benefits such as legal defence, death and retirement benefits, unemployment and sickness benefits and life insurance. I n the U. P., the Indian Federation of Labour have organised about 48 centres where various kinds of welfare activities are in progress. They have also established workers' clubs with libraries and reading rooms, indoor and outdoor games and co-operative stores.2 Finally, the Mazdoor Sabha for Cawnpore maintains a reading room, a library and also a dispensary for workers. Apart from this, there are a few other unions carrying on stray activities for promotion of the workers' well-being. However, the biggest limitation in the case of trade unions is, of course, lack of funds and one cannot expect such bodies to achieve really big results. There is no doubt, however, that if unions organised welfare activities, they will be strengthening their position considerably. In the field of co-operation, whether this is for the purpose of credit or consumption, the efforts of unions are likely to be valuable.