K. GURUMURTI 35, Giri Road,
Madras 600 017 12th May 1977
I am one of those who have closely followed the activities of Textile Labour Association, Ahmedabad for about 30 years now and I had an opportunity to visit them and acquaint myself with their performances in the various fields.
It is the only Labour union in the whole of India, who has striven hard to follow the philosophy of Mahatma Gandhi in the matter of serving the working class and has achieved a measure of success.
Mahatma Gandhi held the view that Trade Unions besides looking after the problems of the workers in their worklife should interest themselves in the whole man. He felt that the time the workers spent after their duty hours, should be channelised into rightful activities to make them good citizens. The Department of Social Work and Welfare set up by the T.L.A. has taken care of this particular aspect.
The trade unions in the highly developed countries of the West have just started negotiating with the employers a Human Contract side by side with Union Contract. While the Union Contract takes care of wages, working conditions and the like, the Human Contract provides for health, welfare and living conditions. But the T.L.A. has been the forerunner of such a Human Contract. Even here, the Human, Contract began to be operated by T.L.A. with the resources of the union and the workers and did not wait for the collaboration of the employers as in the West.
T.L.A. in its 60 years of existence has been responsible to produce a galaxy of dedicated trade union leaders wedded to Gandhian School of thought, most of whom held the labour portfolio at the centre and some at the State. The working class of this country will ever remember this service with gratitude.
It is indeed very heartening to note that the T.L.A. has kept up its tradition all these years and the credit goes to the dedicated leadership and their men. Sri Arvind Buch, as the present head of the organisation has contributed in no small measure to the growth of the union by preserving the unity and stability in spite of the troubles and tribulations the union had to face in the recent past.
I do hope that the Diamond Jubilee will further inspire the leaders and the workers to hold aloft the banner of the union as a beacon light to the working class movement in the country and elsewhere.