FPRW in Cotton Supply Chain in India

Technical and Planning Workshop for Central Trade Unions in Telangana

A technical consultative workshop for senior state representatives of the central Trade Unions in Telangana.

ILO global project ‘Promoting Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work (FPRW) in Cotton Supply Chain’ in India, in collaboration with Government of Telangana, social partners and other stakeholders, provides technical support to policy makers, implementers and other stakeholders aiming to build an ecosystem to contribute towards decent work and better livelihood to all in need in cotton growing communities, particularly workers and small/marginal holding farmers.

The project organized a Technical and Planning workshop for the state level senior representatives of the Central Trade Unions in Telangana on 13 April 2019 in Hyderabad. The workshop was attended by officials from Department of Labour and more than 26 trade union representatives from 10 Central Trade Unions. The workshop also saw active participation by women trade union leaders.

The purpose of the workshop was to enable a bipartite dialogue to discuss and understand the challenges and opportunities associated with Freedom of Association and Collective bargaining in the agriculture sector and in particular, cotton growing areas. The workshop emphasized on creating awareness among the workers about their rights in the cotton producing areas as well as the importance of unionization. As a result of the group work and further deliberations, the project received guidance on prioritizing immediate and long term project activity plans including drafting a Joint Action Plan for the Trade Unions.

The Commissioner of Labour, Department of Labour, Government of Telangana congratulated the ILO for taking up a unique initiative in the cotton supply chain and organising the workshop. He eloquently mentioned that since the cotton industry was mostly an unorganized sector, the workers were not adequately represented by the trade unions which provides a unique opportunity for trade unions to represent the unorganized sector workers.

The Specialist for Workers Activities, ILO DWT for South Asia and CO for India reiterated that the Fundamental Principles and Rights at Work are universal which need to be respected and promoted by all the three constituents.