The All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) was founded in 1920.
The Gaya session of the Congress (1922) welcomed the formation of the AITUC and a committee was formed to assist it.
A strong communist influence on the movement lent a militant and revolutionary content to it.
The whole of 1928 witnessed unprecedented industrial unrest. For instance In 1928 there was a six-month-long strike in Bombay Textile Mills led by the Girni Kamgar Union.
Alarmed at the increasing strength of the trade union movement under extremist influence, the government resorted to legislative restrictions. It passed the Public Safety Ordinance (1929) and the Trade Disputes Act (TDA), 1929.
The workers participated during 1930 in the Civil Disobedience Movement but after 1931 there was a dip in the working class movement because of a split in 1931 in which the corporatist trend led by N.M. Joshi broke away from the AITUC to set up the All India Trade Union Federation.
During the second world war, the communists dissociated themselves from the Quit India Movement. A policy of industrial peace was advocated by the communists.
In the period 1945 to 1947, workers participated actively in the post-War national upsurges. For instance, In 1945, the dock workers of Bombay and Calcutta refused to load ships taking supplies to the warring troops in Indonesia.