for building a democratic labour movement in India
Centre for Workers Education organizes one day workshops for workers on labour laws. Presently mixed group of workers attend these workshops, rather than of one factory or one industry
However, our experiences reveal that for participatory training programs one day is never sufficient and it needs at least two-day residential workshop. Moreover, in these training programs, broad range of issues emerged in the discussion and the need was expressed that the training only on labour laws is not sufficient. Trainings must at-least address two more aspects, along with labour laws: the new challenged for building the workers solidarity, and new ways of organizing.
With our experiences in these training programs we are currently in a process to build a four tier training program for workers:
These training programs are to be developed in such a way that it gradually reaches to higher levels. And at-least in first two workshops the participants must be from same industry.
The Centre for Workers Education has conceptualized a program for establishing Workers’ Centers in industrial centers as a strategy for educating and organizing the workers in the current situations when majority of workers are informal and unorganized. These centers will work as education and training as well as cultural centers and will also facilitate the organizing process. Cultural activities have two roles. The majority of workers in most of the industrial centers are migrants (coming from different states or distant villages of the same state), and here they are compelled to live in alienation, which actually makes their whole life dry, The cultural activities will bring in them liveliness and make them feel as a social animal. On the other hand, cultural activities are also an effective tool for organizing the workers. A library for workers may also be established there to provide reading materials to workers. Centers may also provide shelter to worker organizers thrown out of job and facing economic hardships. It is proposed to establish first such center in Noida Industrial Area on experimental basis, when we have enough resources to establish it. As of the state of conditions now, initially the trade unions in the region may not come forward to help in this effort. But, after evaluation of the effectiveness of this experimental center and improving the overall strategy on the basis of experiences gained, we will be in a better position to propose it as an organizing strategy and invite the trade unions and other workers organizations to collectively establish and run such centers in various industrial areas.