Constitution of the Centre of Indian Trade Unions

(With amendments made in the Eleventh Conference of CITU held in Chennai from December 9-13, 2003)


1. The name of the organization shall be CENTRE OF INDIAN TRADE UNIONS (to be designated in abbreviated form as the CITU).

2. The flag of the CITU will be red in colour with hammer and sickle in centre in white colour, with the letters CITU vertically on the left.


3. (A) The CITU believes that the exploitation of the working class can be ended only by socializing all means of production: distribution and exchange and establishing a Socialist State. Holding fast the ideal of socialism, the CITU stands for the complete emancipation of the society from all exploitation.

(B) The CITU fights:

(a) against all encroachments on the economic and social rights of workers and for enlargement of their rights and liberties including the right to strike, for winning, defending and extending the freedom of the democratic and trade union movements,

(b) for the recognition of trade unions on the basis of secret ballot,

(c) for the progressive improvement of wages, for reduction of working hours, for provision of decent housing and improvement of the living conditions of the workers,

(d) for security of full employment, right to work and against the hazards of unemployment,

(e) for full and adequate social security legislation to protect the workers and their families against sickness, accident and old age, providing adequate maternity insurance and pensions for widowed mothers and dependent children, and every other type of social security, for effective control of the worker subscribers over the Provident Fund and ESI Corporations,

(f) for equal wages for equal work,

(g) for the abolition of discrimination based on caste, like untouchability, on sex, and religion, in relation to employment, wages and promotion,

(h) for the protection of the democratic rights of the minorities,

(i) for formation through election of committees in factories, workshops, business houses and other places where collective work is performed, with a view to control conditions of work in these places,

(j) for proper vocational training,

(k) for elimination of illiteracy,

(l) for helping workers organize unions where none exists, for rallying the workers in a single union by uniting the rival unions in one industry.

(C) (a) In the fight for the immediate interests of the working class the CITU demands:

(1) nationalization of all foreign monopoly concerns who barbarously exploit our working class

(2) nationalization of all concerns owned by Indian monopolists and big industry who garner huge profits at the expense of the workers, who exploit the people by pegging prices at high level and who dictate the anti-labour and anti-people policies of the Government.

(b) The CITU fights against the repressive policies of the Government towards the democratic and trade union movements; it fights against its economic policy of safeguarding the interests of capitalists and landlords and piling burdens on the common man and the working class through increasing taxation and inflation. It fights for replacing the present bourgeois-landlord regime by a democratic regime of the people.

(D) 1. For this purpose:

(a) The CITU while supporting the democratic demands of other section of the people seeks the help of other democratic forces and organisations in the common fight to replace the present bourgeois-landlord regime by a democratic regime of the people.

(b) the CITU raises its voice against the growing dependence of our economy on American and other foreign monopoly capital and piling up of foreign debts which is leading to severe exploitation of the working class and creating a dangerous situation for national freedom.

2. The CITU promotes relations of solidarity with the peasants and agricultural workers in the fight for land, against usury and rent, and high taxation and lend every help to the forces of agrarian revolution, to support in full the struggle of the agricultural workers for higher wages and decent conditions. The CITU believes that no lasting improvement in the economic conditions of the working class is possible without a complete liquidation of the feudal land relationship, and ending the monopoly of the big landlords.

3.It promotes international solidarity and unity with the workers of other countries in the common fight for socialism, promote fraternal relations and deep bonds of unity with workers and people of socialist countries.

4.It helps peoples in their fight against imperialist domination and aggression and render all assistance to national liberation movements against imperialism.

5.The CITU fights for the maintenance of world peace, against all imperialist plots for unleashing world war, against nuclear war and for the abolition of all nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction.

6. It fights for peaceful co-existence between states belonging to different social systems.

7. It fights for a foreign policy based on friendly relations with neighboring countries, opposing war and supporting peace and national liberation movements.

8. The CITU co-operates with international trade union organisations for the furtherance of the common aims of the trade union movement.

9. It firmly adheres to the position that no social transformation can be brought about without class struggle and shall constantly repel attempts to take the working class along the path of class collaboration.


4. (a) To achieve its purpose the CITU will constantly endeavour to build united activity with other central organisations and of unions and organisations affiliated and not affiliated, in the struggle for common objectives.

(b) The CITU considers that the democratic functioning of the organisation at all levels and of its constituents is essential to achieve its objectives.

(c) The democratic functioning of the organisation requires strict adherence to the provisions of the Constitution regarding periodic meetings of CITU bodies, to the discharge of the obligations of their responsibilities and the collective functioning of the various bodies under the Constitution.

(d) The minority view point in the CITU bodies, should have the right of free expression, and should be given adequate representation in all its bodies. This will be ensured by the method of cumulative voting.

(e) The CITU bodies at the centre have the responsibility of ensuring that the State Committees and other bodies that may be elected, function democratically, according to the rules laid down, ensuring free expression, within the organisation for all sections.

(f) The State Committees of the CITU will ensure that the constituent unions function democratically, according to their Constitution and take up all complaints about non-democratic functioning with the parties concerned.

(g) The decisions of the bodies of the CITU shall be taken by a simple majority. A two-thirds majority will be required if the issue concerns amendment of the Constitution or the establishment of modification of its programme. Normally elections to the bodies of the CITU will be held on the basis of cumulative voting.


5. The CITU consists of:

(i) the affiliated unions,

(ii) the delegates assembled at the triennial or special session of the CITU Conference.

(iii) The General Council,

(iv) The Working Committee or the General Council, and

(v) The State Conference, the State Committees and State Councils.


6. (1) The General Session will meet once in every three years. The session will be called the CITU Conference. It is the highest organ of authority in the CITU and all bodies of the CITU derive their authority from it.

(2) The Conference will consist of the delegates elected by the constituent unions in accordance with the rules under the Constitution and the office bearers of the CITU will have the same status as the elected delegates.

(3) The functions and powers of the CITU Conference are as follows:

(a) Adopting the programme and the general policy of the CITU, making such changes in them as are considered necessary in the interests of the working class.

(b) Discussion and adoption of the report presented by the General Secretary, discussion and adoption of such other reports that may be presented by the General Council on the questions of the agenda,

(c) Examination and discussion of questions put to the Conference by constituent State Committees and constituent unions,

(d) Pass resolutions on current questions affecting the working class,

(e) Take decisions on affiliations of unions, on disaffiliation and other type of disciplinary actions,

(f) Election of the General Council,

(g) Election of the Office Bearers,

(h) The Conference will fix its own agenda,

(i) It will modify or amend the present Constitution,

(j) It will elect the General Council according to the rules prescribed,

(k) It will pass the audited Statement of Accounts,

(l) It will take any other decision consistent with the programme and the Constitution of the CITU.


7. A special session of the CITU Conference in between two triennial sessions may be called by the General Council or on a requisition from unions representing one-fourth of the total strength of the membership of the CITU.


8.(a) For the General or the Special Session of the CITU the affiliated unions shall be entitled to elect delegates on the basis to be decided each time by the General Council prior to the Conference taking into consideration possibility of making arrangements for the total number of delegates and need for protecting the interests of smaller unions.

(b) To ascertain the number of delegates which an affiliated union is entitled to send the CITU, the basis shall be the number of paying members existing on the register of the union, as disclosed in the balance sheet of the union, for the calendar year prior to the session of the CITU, duly certified by the auditor.

(c) An affiliated union shall furnish to the General Secretary of the CITU the names and addresses of the delegates two weeks before the date fixed for the session of the CITU.

(d) Delegates' cards will be issued on production of a certificate of election by the Secretary or the President of the union concerned and on payment of a delegation fee of Rs.2 per delegate, or an amount fixed by the Working Committee.

(e) No person who is not an office-bearer or a paying member or an honorary member of the affiliated union, shall be entitled to be elected as a delegate to the CITU.

(f) proposals from the constituent unions on the agenda of the General Session of the CITU must be signed by the President or the Secretary of the Union sending them and must reach the General Secretary of the CITU at least two weeks before the time fixed for the meeting of the CITU.

(g) At the session of the CITU, the official business shall be given priority over other business.


9. (a) The General Council shall comprise (i) Office Bearers (ii) 425 other members elected by the general session of the CITU Conference as per norms noted below.

The 425 seats as above will be distributed among the State Committees of the CITU in proportion to their respective membership strength to the total membership of the CITU forming the basis of election of delegates to the general session of the CITU Conference.

(Explanation: This 425 shall include 125 members of the Working Commtitee, as in Section 10,(1)

(aa) The delegates from each state shall elect the member(s) from the respective state as per number determined as at (a) above.

(aaa) The names of members of the General Council elected as above shall be approved by the general session of the CITU Conference.


(a) The General Council following its election by the Conference, will elect the Working Committee. The General Council will be the highest authority between two sessions of the CITU.

(b) The General Council will implement the policies and resolutions of the Conference, will review the situation in the trade union movement from time to time and take all necessary steps to further the policies of the organisation, to defend the interests of the working class and unify its ranks.

(c) It will examine and discuss reports presented by the General Secretary and other office bearers on behalf of the Working Committee and take appropriate decisions, it will examine whether all CITU Bodies are functioning democratically according to the Constitution and take appropriate steps to remedy weakness.

(d) It will set up work plans for CITU committees to expand trade union work, bring fresh workers within the organization and help the workers to build united unions and unity in the trade union movement.

(e) It will co-ordinate the activities of the affiliated unions all over India, endeavour to develop common actions, it will render help and guidance to working class strikes, conducted by affiliated or non-affiliated unions, develop solidarity actions among workers of different industries and States and among workers and employees.

(f) It will approve the Statements of Accounts submitted by the Treasurer.

(g) It will take urgent steps in the interest of the movement wherever necessary.

(h) It will affiliate new unions and has the right to disaffiliate defaulting unions according to the rules of the Constitution.

(i) The General Council will popularize the objectives of the CITU. It will take concrete decisions to fight against the anti-labour and anti-people polices of the ruling classes and the Government.

(j) The General Council will fix the date and venue of the triennial session of the CITU Conference or authorize the Working Committee or the Secretariat to fix the date and venue of the session and convene it.

(k) The General Council will have the right to call a special session in between two sessions of the Conference.

(l) The General Council can fill the vacancy of an office-bearer whenever it will arise.

(m) It will amend the Constitution in case of emergency.


10. (1) The Working Committee of the CITU shall comprise:

(a) Office-bearers and (b) 125 members elected by and out of the General Council from each state in the same manner and proportion, as described in Section 9. (A) (ii) (a). (c) The names of members of the Working Committee elected as above shall be approved by the meeting of the General Council.

(2) The Working Committee shall meet at least once a year.

(3) In between two sessions of the General Council, the Working Committee will act on behalf of Council, exercise its authority, except in relation to the amendment of the Constitution, and discharge all its responsibilities.

(4) The decisions of the Working Committee will have to be placed for endorsement before the next session of General Council.

(5) On a requisition from the unions representing one-fourth of the total membership of the CITU, the Working Committee shall take steps to call a special session of the CITU within two months of the receipt of the requisition for purpose of transaction of the business mentioned in the requisition.


11. (1) (a) The office-bearers of the CITU shall consist of:

(i) a President

(ii) a General Secretary

(iii) Vice-Presidents

(iv) A Treasurer, and

(v) Secretaries,

(Explanation: The number of Vice-Presidents and Secretaries will be decided by the Conference at each session)

(b) The office-bearers shall be elected by the triennial session of the Conference, after having received nominations duly proposed and recommended by one or more delegates. Nominees must be person who are elected delegates at the Session or retiring office-bearers.

(2) (a) The President shall preside over the meetings of the General Council and the Working Committee. The outgoing President shall preside at the General Session and any session that may be held during his term of office.

(b)The President along with the General Secretary and the Secretariat bears the responsibility of executing the decisions of the Working Committee and the General Council, maintain close contacts with the State units, to ensure collective functioning at all levels, to popularize CITU policies and explain these in relation to current issues.

(3) A Vice-President shall preside over the meeting of the General Council or the Working Committee in the absence of the President. All the Vice-Presidents will act as members of Presidium during General and Special Sessions of the CITU to assist the president in conducting the deliberations.

(4) The General Secretary is responsible for the activities of the CITU in between two sessions of the Working Committee. He in consultation with the president and the Secretaries may take urgent decisions to further the work of the organisation. Such decisions are to be endorsed by the Working Committee or the General Council whichever meets earlier.

(5) The General Secretary shall present to the CITU Conference a report of the work done by the General Council and Working Committee during the period between two Sessions. The report should also contain details of the activities of the State Units. It should specifically report on the collective and democratic functioning of the organisation at all levels and detail out steps to be taken to develop the organic unity of the organisation. Besides, it should deal with current problems of vital interest to the movement and suggestions to meet them in full conformity with the policies and programme of the Constitution. The General Secretary or the Secretariat will also submit reports of work to the periodical meetings of the Working Committee and the General Council.

(6) The Treasurer is responsible for the maintenance of proper accounts of all the fund of the CITU and keeping them in safe custody. He shall ensure that the CITU funds are spent in accordance with the decisions of the Working Committee and as per the direction of the General Secretary, or the Secretariat. He shall get the accounts audited every year and submit them before the Working Committee and the General Council for approval. He will also present a statement of accounts and balance sheet duly certified by auditors to the Conference of CITU.

(7) The Secretaries shall assist the General Secretary in carrying out his responsibilities.

(8) The President, the General Secretary, all the Secretaries and the office-bearers, constitute the Secretariat of the CITU.

(9) In case of emergency, or when either the General Council or Working Committee cannot be convened decision on important questions may be taken by circular to the members to Working Committee.


12.1(a) Notice of (the time, place and agenda) meetings of the Working Committee, the General Council and the triennial or special session of CITU shall be issued by the General Secretary and in his absence by one of the Secretaries.

(b)For the meeting of the Working Committee and the General Council, at least 15 days notice shall be given and for the Session of the CITU Conference, at least one month's notice shall be given.

(c)Full two months notice is necessary for changes in the Constitution and programme of the CITU.

(d)Emergency meeting of Working Committee can be called by giving a notice of 7 days.

(e) These provisions apply in relation to the meeting of the State Conferences, and State Committees. The Secretary of the State Conferences, and State Committees. The Secretary of the State Committee will issue the required notices.

2. The quorum at the Session of the CITU Conference and at the meeting of the General Council, the Working Committee, the State Conferences, State Committees and Councils, shall be one-third of the members of the delegates or members of the respective bodies.


13.(a) The State Committees and State Council (wherever they exist) of the CITU constitute vital link between the CITU central bodies and the activities of the constituent unions.

(b)The State Committees and Councils are directly responsible for guiding the constituent unions and their activities in the State in defence of the interests of the working class, implementing the CITU policies and expanding the trade union activities, for rallying workers to build one union in one industry by uniting rival unions.

(c)The State Committees and Councils have the responsibility of coordinating the activities of affiliated unions in the State, working for joint actions with non-affiliated organisations and keeping the Central Office informed of its activities.

(d)The State Committees and Councils have the responsibility of propagating the political objectives and policies of the CITU as described in Section 3.

(e)It is their responsibility to ensure collective and democratic functioning in the State and constituent unions so that close ties are evolved between different unions and between the members and leaders of each union. It is also their responsibility to see that minority opinion is given freedom of expression and proper representation in the elected bodies.

(f)Corresponding to the CITU Conference, there shall be held every two years at least a conference of delegates of all the unions in the State, affiliated to the CITU. The Conference will elect a State Council corresponding to the General Council which in its turn will elect a State Committee. In case the State Conference feels that a Council is not necessary, it may directly elect the State Committee.

(g)The State Conference will elect such office-bearers as it may think fit, apart from a Secretary and a Treasurer.

(h)The State Conference will lay down the basis of representation on the State Council or the State Committee and the number of members for the Committee and the Council.

(i)The State Conference at its Session will:

(1)take decisions to implement the policies of the CITU Conference, General Council and Working Committee; ensure the implementation of these policies and report on violation, if any, by unions,

(2)discuss and adopt the report of the Secretary,

(3)adopt the statement of accounts submitted by the Treasurer,

(4)discuss immediate issues including the policy of the State Government and take appropriate decisions. It will discuss questions affecting all India movement, labour legislations and policies of the Government of India, and take decisions and suggest decisions to the General Council.

(5) take all measures to co-ordinate the activities of constituent unions, develop one union in one industry, and take steps to initiate and guide the struggle of the working class in the State; and develop solidarity actions with the workers in other states,

(6)recommend unions for affiliation to the General Council in accordance with rules laid down in the Constitution, it will also recommend the disaffiliation of unions to the General Council on the grounds enumerated in the Constitution,

(7) actively popularize the political objectives of the CITU and take decisions for appropriate political action where necessary. In particular it will make special endeavours to build close ties with kisan organisations and support the struggle of the poor peasants and agricultural workers for land and decent wages.

(j) In between two sessions of the State Conference the State Council will function as the leading body in the State and fulfill all the responsibilities and all the powers of the State Conference except in relation to the amendment of the Constitution of the State Committee.

(k) The State Committee will function between two sessions of the State Council and discharge all its responsibility and have all its powers.

(l)The State Committee will meet at least once in two months and the Council once in four months.

(m)The State Committee will consider all applications for affiliation from the State and forward them to the CITU office with its recommendations. Such application shall be forwarded by the State Committee to the General Secretary within a period of two months from its receipt by the Committee.

(n)The State Council may frame bye-laws for its functioning consistent with the provision of the Constitution.

(o)This State Committee or Council may also permit the formation of District, City or Regional Councils wherever necessary for the co-ordination of the activities of the Trade Unions in the area and for carrying out the objective of the CITU.


14 (a) The CITU may affiliate to itself any bonafide trade union which satisfies the following conditions:

(i) The trade union seeking affiliation shall make an application in prescribed form;

(ii) It shall pay every year affiliation fee and special levies as provided in these rules;

(iii) It shall send a copy of its Constitution, a list of office-bearers, as a copy of the Statement of Accounts for the calendar year giving an average paying membership, duly audited by an auditor, and such other information as the General Secretary of the CITU may require;

(iv) The application for affiliation shall be forwarded through the State Committee concerned wherever such a Committee exists, to the General Secretary, CITU. Such applications shall be forwarded by the State Committees to the General Secretary within a period of two months from its receipt by the Committee, with its remarks regarding the eligibility of the union for affiliation, under the Constitution of the CITU;

(v) The minimum fee which a union desiring affiliation henceforward to the CITU shall charge its members, shall not be less than three rupees per year, to be collected either monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or yearly;

(b) The Working Committee of the CITU shall have the authority to accept or reject any application for affiliation form a trade union, provided, however, that an aggrieved union has the right to appeal to the General Council or Special Session of the CITU.


15. Each affiliated union shall pay to the CITU:

(a) An affiliation fee at the rate of One Rupee (Re1/-) per member per calendar year subject to the minimum of Rs.40/-.

(b) The annual subscription of the journal, The Working Class.

(c) Such other amount as may be fixed by the General Council and/or the State Committee in order to facilitate the functioning.

(d) All three contributions vide (a) (b) & (c) above are inseparable part of affiliation fee.

16. (i) The affiliation fee shall be paid by the 30th June each year. However, if the session is held before June 30th, the affiliation fee for the year shall be paid before the session. If in the case of any union there is difficulty in ascertaining the full membership for the year, because of earlier payment, the previous year's membership may be accepted as the membership for the Session. The special contribution or levy shall become payable as and when fixed in each case. Non-payment of the affiliation fee that has become due shall disqualify the defaulting union from voting at or participating in the meeting of the CITU or any of its constituent bodies, until the payment is made; provided that the Working Committee may in special cases for reason to be recorded, remove the disqualifications.

(ii) A union when disqualified for non-payment of the affiliation fees may be reaffiliated on payment of the arrears and the current fees.

(iii)In case a union is disqualified, within the meaning of clause (i)for a period of not less than 12 months the General secretary may issue a notice to the Union concerned, to make good within three months all the dues at the date of notice. In case the union fails to pay all such arrears, demanded within the time given, it shall be liable for disaffiliation. The General Council may, for reasons to be specified, waive the whole or part of these arrears in the case of specified unions.


17. Delegates and advisers of various national and international conferences and meetings shall be ordinarily elected at meetings of the General Council or the Working Committee whichever is in session. In case of emergency, or when either the General Council or the Working Committee can not be convened, decisions may be taken by circular to the members of the Working Committee.


18. The CITU may be affiliated to such international bodies as have the same or similar objectives.


19. The funds of the CITU shall be kept in a bank and the Working Committee shall have the power to nominate such persons from among the office-bearers of the CITU, one of whom must be the Treasurer, who may be authorized to open and operate such bank accounts.


20 (a) The General Council shall have the power to disaffiliate any union which fails to pay its affiliation dues, or which is willfully working against the interests and the constitution of the CITU.

(b) The General Council shall have the power to remove any office-bearer guilty of anti-working class action. It shall have the right to take similar action against any member of the General Council guilty of the above action. Before taking such action the person concerned shall be given an opportunity to explain his conduct.

(c) The State Committees and other bodies shall have similar rights in relation to their members.

(d) The individuals or unions concerned have the right to appeal to the CITU Conference or the State Conference, against action taken by the General Council or the State Council respectively.

(e) The General Council shall have power to decide by a two-third majority to dissolve or reorganise a State Committee or State Council if it is functioning against the policies of the CITU or is unable to discharge its responsibilities because of inactivity or any other cause. Before taking such action, the General Council shall convene a meeting of the State Committee or State Council to give a hearing to its members. Within six months of taking such action, the General Council shall convene a Conference of the unions of the State to elect State Committee and/or State Council.


21. The General Council shall have the power to make bye laws, not inconsistent with the Constitution.

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