About US

Kerala Labour Movement (KLM) is the official organ of Commission for Labour of the Kerala Catholic Bishops' Council (KCBC) working for the Welfare and Empowerment of the 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 facilitation centers of KLM and 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 is a registered civil society organization (Reg No. ER 620/04). It works for the total liberation and integral development of the workers especially the unorganised. KLM assists dioceses and congregations to improve the quality of institutions run by them by implementing Social Security schemes and service conditions to the employees working in the institutions.

The national level activities are facilitated by the Office for Labour of CBCI and its official organ, Workers' India Federation (WIF) the national body of the different labour movements and NGOs working with unorganized labourers in different areas of India. KLM has been recognized as the founder member of the Workers India Federation (WIF).


The workers in the tile factories and wood industries were first organized at Thalore - Ollur in Thrissur by Fr. Jenicius CMI in the year 1957 - 59. It was an alternative to the workers who were tempted to the political parties especially the communism and later since 1959 it was supported by the diocese of Trichur. This labour's organization was "Catholic Labour Association" (CLA). Later in December 1968 a seminar was conducted in St. Joseph Pontifical Seminary for the delegates from the Dioceses of Kerala. There were 300 persons from 16 dioceses. Later in January, 1974 the CLA convened a meeting at Madona Sehiyona in Thrissur, which is said to be the beginning of Kerala Labour Movement. This meeting asked the Church in Kerala to creatively active among the workers for their integral development and empowerment. 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.

Objects of KLM

  • Enhance the dignity of the labour through the proper dissemination of the labour rights, labour justice and labour responsibility perspectives of the Church and the International Labour Organization (ILO) and ensuring its truthful implementation in the labour settings
  • Ensure labour justice to all workers especially the unorganized workers through the lobbying for the appropriate labour legislations and the rightful implementation of the already existing labour laws of the country.
  • Empowerment of the unorganized workers through the Human and Institutional Development, Leadership Promotion and Capacity Building Programs
  • Ensure gender justice among the unorganized workers of the State through enhancing the bargaining power of the women unorganized workers and creating appropriate support mechanisms and legal help forums
  • Universalisation of Social Security for the workers of the state through ensuring the proper budget allocation by both union and state governments via social advocacy.
  • Ensure the Right to Food of the unorganized workers of the state through the social campaign, legal remedies and network with right based and community based organisations.
  • Assists dioceses and congregations to improve the quality of institutions run by them by implementing Social Security schemes and service conditions to the employees working in the institutions linkages and placement services

Strategies of KLM

  • Information Dissemination and Awareness Generation
  • Social Mobilization and Capacity Building.
  • KLM Institutional Development and Leadership Promotion
  • Finishing Schools and Workers Facilitation Centre's.
  • Suraksha Clinics and Welfare Schemes Servicing
  • Job Placements and Human Resource Management Services
  • Research, Documentation and Publications
  • Social Campaign, Lobbying and Social Advocacies