Of organising the unorganised sectors


In economic conditions that are extreme and fragile — like the one the world is stuck in today — talks of job security crops up promptly, but it also fades away with the same ease.

However, it is shocking when you hear the number of people who live through uncertain careers through out their lives. Our security guards, people who help us around in malls and markets, the construction workers are all victims of this. Reason: lack of representation for one, and many others.

Having one of the largest unorganised sectors it is thereby of great importance to have represention for such sectors for a sound functioning.

In one such move to cater to the unorganised sector, UNIDOC a union network which is affiliated to the Union Network International (UNI) - Global Union has initiated a process of organising the various unorganised sectors in the country by forming unions — both generic and enterprise.

“Our intention is to bring as many as these people under one broad organisation, so that they have a voice and can represent themselves to avial demands of common interest,” UNIDOC Director, N R Hegde told Deccan Herald.

Long tradition

India, no doubt has a tradition of labour unions, with the Trade Union Act passed as early as 1926. The reforms however, have been stagnant. In fact, the act has never been changed to fit in to the current scenario.

With over one million people registered and over 29 affiliations, the organisation also boasts of holding UNITES Proffesionals, the only representative organisation for the IT and ITES employees under it.

In the same regard the organisation is also in the process of initiating more such organisations that can represent workers from different sectors. UNICOME (Union for Commerce Employees in India) is one such organisation that has taken off in the City — which provides representation to workers in malls, super markets, large retail chains and cash and carry businesses. And the process is also in place in cities like Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi and Delhi. The organisation has also managed to form a special enterprise union for the employees of the Metro Cash & Carry stores, it revealed.

Further, it has also formed a Security Guards Union, another generic union catering to the security guards across the city and is in talks with the G4 Security Services to form the first enterprise union in this sector.

“These are some of our initiatives that have been materialised, we have more in the pipeline for the insurance sectors, UNIFIN for banking and finance, UNILOGE for the logistics industry,” Hegde said. He also conceded that they are in talks to form unions for Mysore Sales International Limited (MSIL), Priyadarshini. Janatha Bazar, among others.

Further, Hegde urged that there needs to be a change in the way unions are perceived among masses, as they are also progressive.

“Unions are not only meant for strikes and lockouts or collective bargaining alone,” he said, adding that there is a lot that unions do — like social and national service among other things.

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