Kerala Labour Movement (KLM) is the official organ of Kerala Catholic Bishop’s Council’s (KCBC) Commission for Labour working for the Welfare and Empowerment of the workers, especially the unorganized workers in Kerala. It was functional since 1972 and has the history of four decades of selfless service in the empowerment of the unorganized workers of the State. KLM outreach to the grass roots is ensured through the diocesan network of KLM and the network of the workers forums. Some of the workers forums organized by KLM have now been registered as the independent trade unions in par with any other trade unions in the State. KLM has been recognized as the founder member of the Workers India Federation (WIF), the national body of the different labour movements and NGOs working with unorganized labourers The KLM aims at the spiritual, cultural, economical and social upliftment and development of the labourers and their families.
Promotion of Fish workers
Fish workers inclusive of men and women engaged in fishing, fish vending and allied activities are the major working class of the diocese. TSSS is concerned about their rights, occupation and their integral growth, which are carried out through welfare programmes, advocacy, lobbying and networking with NGOs and GOs. A new board, namely Fisheries Ministry (link to site of fisheries ministry) is initiated in the diocese since 2018.
Kerala Labour Movements
Kerala Labour Movement aims at the development of spiritual, cultural and social upliftment and progress of the unorganized labourers and their families. KLM units are formed for agricultural workers, construction workers and motor vehicle workers. Forty-six KLM units are working in seven foranes of Trivandrum Archdiocese. KLM units are federated in three tier system – village, region and centre. Monthly meetings and valuation of planned and unplanned activities are done every month. KLM Trivandrum unit is linked with State-level organization of KLM (link to web site of KLM).
Thus the KCBC constituted the commission for the labour being Archbishop Mar Joseph Pawvathil the Chairman, Bishop Mar Joseph Kundukulam and Dr. Bernard Perera the Members and Msgr Thomas Thalachira the secretary. The important years and events to be remembered are 1974, the Diocesan Chaplains met in Changanassery, the leaders’ meetings at Thrikkakara in 1976 and at Pala in 1977. It was in the workers’ camp at Manjummel where 65 labourers from 17 dioceses have attended on 23-29 of October 1977 a decision taken that the KLM should give attention to the fishermen and the agricultural workers and their issues regarding their dignity, security and empowerment. Later in 1978 a joint May Day message by the bishops was published and the rules and regulations of KLM were approved. But the KLM was in sleepy and in 2000 it was again activated by Bishop Joshwa Mar Ignatius the chairman and Fr. Jose Vattakkuzhi the secretary. Than the president of KLM was Mr. P.L. George from Thrissur, The General Secretary was Mr. Joseph Jude from Varapuzha and the treasure was Mr. Binni P. Joseph from Thiruvananthapuram.