Fourthl), the participation of the Unions in the public issues may not be confined only to labour issues or labour problems. Today, all economic and political issues are so complicated that we cannot deal with one without touching the other. When the unions work in co-operation with or are affiliated tc a political party, they have to compromise and accept the discipline of the party. Infact in most cases, the political leaders take decision about reconciling the public interest and working class interest, or various sectional or group interest. In taking these decisions they are largely guided by their either acquiring or perpetuating power.
What is suggested here is that the trade unions without leaving reconciliation of interest to the political leadership, should do it themselves. Unions, by taking this task upon themselves would not only build up their image in the public mind but also will be able to play a po-itive role of chastening the working of the party system.
Public interest. Certainly, it would involve lot of data collection studies, discussions and presentation of trade union views before the public. This itself is a highly educative process for the unions and the political parties.
Unions can play positive role, only when they accept that like any other group, they are also the guardian of public interest and capable of placing public interest above sectional interest including their own. They will have to be guided by the principle of trusteeship. It is not the Government or the political parties alone that are capable of protecting public interest. All sections and more particularly, the trade unions can also play this role equally competently if they accept that they are also the trustees of the industrial unit, in which they work and the community which they serve.
Fifthly, the trade union movement will have to expand itself and be out-ward bound. Political awakening is spreading much faster than the spread or organised industries and trade unions. There is a vast mass of unorganised labour in the cities and towns and landless labour in the rural areas. There is a considerable feeling that the benefits of the economic development have been certainly shared by the industrial labour, but they have not gone beyond it. Organised labour has become a 'Privileged' class, it is argued. This feeling can be cleared if the trade unions take positive and definite steps to take the movement to other unorganised workers in urban as well as rural areas. It is when the industrial labour and agricultural labour, are organised under a single federating union that both will be able to develop proper perspective towards the socio-economic problems of the society.
It must be admitted that the entire discussion is based on the presumption of parliamentary form of democratic government, a government where civil liberties are assured to all the citizens and where change of the rulers is possible through ballot box.