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Chapter 6 Members' participation in union activities gives solidarity and strength to the unions, helps in developing leadership from

the rank and file .and ensures a strong bargaining power. It checks the tendency on the part of selected leaders to become all powerful by a vigilant and participative membership. It is essential not only from the viewpoint of betterment of union members, but for the very success of trade unionism. White-Collar Unionism The growing unionism of white-collar and professional employees has become a predominant trend in India and elsewhere in recent decades. The genesis of unionisation of white-collar employees in India could be traced to the end of Second World War, even though certain sporadic attempts to unionise were evident somewhat earlier. In the post-war decades, a boost in white-collar union activities was witnessed when the employees of central goyernment departments, railways, posts and telegraphs, defence, banking and msurance companies have started organising themselves into unions. Now white-collar unionism in our country has brought within its fold even professionals like college and university teachers, engineers and resident doctors in hospitals. Another recent outstanding development in our country is the emergence of managerial or officers' associations in the industrial sector. They prefer to maintain their separate identity by calling their organisations ~s "Associations" or "Guilds". But, for all practical purposes, their methods and tactics resemble that of . workers' unions. W~te-collar employees were drawn to unionism by a host of internal and external factors operating both within and outside the organisation. One common factor which provided stimulus for the emergence of white-collar unionism in almost all countries has been the phenomenal increase of white-collar employees. The second important factor that induced white-collar employee.to take up to unionism was the erosion of their social and occupational status, not receiving the same kind of respect and special treatment from the employer. Besides this, over the years, the income differentials between the blue-collar workers (bargainable category) and white-collar workers (nonbargainable group) were getting narrower due to the relatively larger gains secured by the former through their union efforts. The third factor which motivated the white-collar employees to unionise and to get some benefits for themselves was their physical proximity to well-unionised blue-collar workers. In short, the emer-gence of whitecollar unionism could be attributed to the growth of whitecollar employment, gradual erosion of their status, disparity in emoluments, and discontent with salary and working conditions. The white-collar unionism in our country has added a new dimension to the industrial relations scene. The management in many companies can no longer count. on the traditional support and loyalty of the lower and middle and even senior 90