All India Trade Union Congress (AITUC) was founded in 1920 with Lala Lajpat Rai as its first president. Upto 1945 Congressmen, Socialists, Communists worked in the AITUC which was the central trade union organisation of workers of India. Subsequently the trade union movement got split on political lines.
The membership of the AITUC is 3.6 million. The unions affiliated to AITUC are from textile, engineering, coal, steel, road transport, electricity board and of unorganised sector such as beedi, construction and head-load workers, anganwadi, local bodies and handloom. Recently a number of agriculture workers' unions have affiliated themselves to AITUC.
The first session of the AITUC was held under the presidentship of Lala Lajpat Rai. In his presidential address, he exhorted the workers:
"Indian labour should lose no time to organize itself on a national scale. Capital is organized on a world-wide basis. It is backed up by financial and political strength, beyond conception. In order to meet the danger, Indian labour will have to join hands with labour outside India also, but its first duty is to organize itself at home".
"At present, our greatest need is to organize, agitate and educate. We must organize our workers, make them class-conscious and educate them in the ways and interests of common weal."