Institute for Social and Economic Change
Working Paper: 446
Growth and Consolidation of Kerala Non-Gazetted Officers’ Union: From Its Formative Years to Union Militancy Phase
The present paper attempts to explain how the Communist Party of India (Marxist) undertook its trade unionism among the government employees of Kerala until 1980 by politicising a large section of the white-collar employees. The party had to adopt white-collar trade union tactics to mobilize and consolidate the government employees towards its fold, that too in a competitive manner due to the presence of multiple organizations sympathising with various political parties working among the government employees. The paper explains how the Kerala NGO union, which is the largest service union of the CPI(M), grew into a militant trade union-like organisation over the years and could successfully negotiate with the state in resolving the issues and concerns pertaining to government employees in the state. With its increasing militancy, the union has been resisting state policies even in unfavourable situations by constantly engaging with the salaried employees, thereby blending them with the larger working class movement.