was one day called in to witness the condition of thp mill workers. Then it dawned upon Shri Wadia to organise a union which he did after series of discussions and in 1918, the Madras Labour Union was Inaugurated. Encouraged by the establishment of a Union for textile workers, the Perambur Railwaymen felt a need of a Union for themselves. Messrs. N. Govindarajulu Naidu, Machine Shop, C. Panchakshara Achary of Mill Wright shop, M.C. Gnanamuthu of C.B. Shop sought the assistance of M/s Selvapathy Chetty and late Ramanjalu Naidu for organising a union for railwaymen.


The first meeting was held at Viswanathar Koil, Tawker's Choultry, which was disturbed by the hirelings of the management.

The second meeting of Perambur workers was convened in Lake Maidan.opposite to R.B.C.C. High School, Perambur, under the chairmanship of Shri V,0. Chidambaram Pillai. That meeting had to be abandoned at the intervention of the police.


On 2-2-1919, Shri N. Govindarajulu Naidu issued a pamphlet containing a list of
40 demands such as leave with pay, residential card pass, medical facilities, drinking water facilities, children's education, quarters etc.,which caught the eyes of the work- ers.

On 7-2-1919, the third meeting, without any publication, was called at Semmathamman Koil, when a decision was taken for formation of a union in the name of Madras & Southern Mahratta Railway Employees' Union with the following as office bearers :-


Dr. G.S- Arundale
Shri T.V. Kalyanasundra Mudaliar
V.O. Chidambaram Pillai
V. Chakkarai Chetty G. Selvapathy Chetty G. Ramanjalu Naidu
N. Govindarajulu Naidu

Joint Secretary
-do- Treasurer

The daily newspapers in Madras gave wide publicity about the formation of the Union for railway workers.

During the subsequent week, a General Body meeting of Railway workers was called at Jamalia grounds giving wide publicity. The management also tried its best to disturb the meeting, but this time they did not succeed because the Railway workers were supported by the mill workers. Dr. Annie Besant, Dr. G.S. Arundale and Shri B. Shiva Rao, participated in that meeting and encouraged the railwaymen to run the trade union. In that General Body, Shri B.P. Wadia was elected as President with Dr. Arundale and Shri T.V. Kalyanasundaram as Vice-Presidents, Shri B. Shiva Rao and Shri Ramanjalu Naidu as Joint Secretaries and Shri D.K. Dilong as Treasurer.

The management realised the solidarity of the Perambur workers and granted some of the demands contained in Shri Govindarajulu Naidu's pamphlet by granting
15 days'leave with pay and residential card pass.

On 23-3-1919 under the chairmanship of Dr. Annie Besant, a resolution was unanimously adopted by the workers in Madras requesting the establishment of Cen- tral Labour Board to settle trade disputes.