Ceylon Workers Congress.
The CWC was formed by Savumiamoorthy Thondaman as an Indian Estates Workers Trade Union in 1950. It was an outgrowth of the Ceylon Indian Congress (CIC), formed in 1939. In 1950 the CIC changed its name to the Ceylon Workers Congress (CWC) and became the largest trade union in the country. Another trade union, the Democratic Workers Congress (DWC), was formed in 1956 as a breakaway faction of the CWC as a result of leadership rivalries between the president, S.Thondaman, and the general secretary A. Aziz. The former retained control of the CWC to date. Thondaman has been the dominant trade union leader of the Indian Tamil workers for nearly four decades. As president of the Ceylon Indian Congress, he contested the Nuwara Eliya seat at the 1947 general election and won. His party put forward seven candidates in the plantation electorates and six of them were returned.
Lanka Jathika Estate Workers’ Union (LJEWU)
The LJEWU was formed in 1958, originally for the purpose of advancing the economic interests of the island’s tea worker community and for championing the cause of their human development, defending their human and labour rights, standing for and defending their dignity etc, Eighteen ( 18 ) years after trade unionism was introduced to the plantation industry in 1940. Fifty six (56) years on, today, LJEWU has indeed grown up to be a force to be reckoned with, achieving for itself recognition not only as a key Union in the collective bargaining process within the island’s entire plantation industry, but also as a member of the National Labour Advisory Council(CLAC) – the apex tripartite consultative mechanism – statutorily set up and chaired by the Minister of Labour & Labour Relations. Furthermore, since its inception, we have been an affiliate of the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF) which the LJEWU took the initiative to form in 2004, along with nine (9) other national labour organizations.