Our Story – November 2020

If the deaf are to hear, the sound has to be very loud,” stated Bhagat Singh and Batukeshwar Dutt at the trial for bombing the Delhi Central Legislative Assembly, on 8 April 1929. Singh and Dutt threw political handouts and smoke bombs at the Delhi Central Legislative Assembly to protest against the passing of two repressive bills, the Public Safety Bill, 1928 and the Trade Dispute Bill, 1928.

The Trade Dispute Bill prohibited strikes and lockouts in public utility services without notice but also made every strike before concluding conciliation proceedings, illegal. The notice provision, together with the conciliatory proceedings, was supposed to make strikes impossible for a period of between three to five months making strike action paralysed under this Bill.

The bill further made its preference for arbitration and company Unions clear. The Bill allowed Unions with not less than five per cent membership of the total number of employees to be declared a Registered Union under the Act. A Registered Union had the right to represent the workers in the Conciliation Court. There was no obligation on employers to recognise a genuinely representative union.

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