8 மணி நேரம் வேலை
In the beginning, Com Subbaiah was influenced by Mahatma Gandhi and had joined nationalist movement. He attended the Congress meeting held at Chennai in 1927-28 and formed Harijan Sevak Sangh in 1933. Subbaiah started a magazine called "Sutantiram" (Independence). It was in this period that he came in touch with Ameer Hyder Khan and S.V. Ghate and soon joined the Communist movement. He went round Tamilnadu to build the Party and to expand it. In 1935, he organized the 15000 textile workers in Puducherry, slogging like slaves for more than 12 hours a day without any trade union rights and proper wages.
On July 30, 1936, in a bid to crush the agitation launched by the textile workers, French Police and army fired on them indiscriminately killing 12 workers on the spot. The injustice and ruthless suppression infuriated people. Workers too became restive. Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru advised Subbaiah, to proceed for Paris for discussions with French Government directly. Com Subbaiah went to Paris, argued with authorities and the French government brought a law for 8-hour working day. It brought not only a victory to trade union movement but also inspired confidence among workers and people.
He was arrested and jailed both in British India and French Puducherry. He was in the august company of great patriots like Pariyar E.V. Ramaswamy Naikar, Annadurai, Kamaraj A.K. Gopalan, Pattabhi Seetharamaiah, Neelam Sanjeeva Reddy and many others. He had to spend long years in jail and while not in jail, he had to be underground. The suffering enhanced his capacity to endure and kept alive his fighting spirit. He had tremendous will power to sustain the struggle against colonialism and imperialism despite heavy odds.
In 1946 he was elected as member of representative council of Puducherry on behalf of the National Democratic front. In 1947, he was elected to the upper house of French Parliament on behalf of Puducherry. He was continuously and effectively fighting in the French Parliament for the independence of Puducherry from French colonialists.
Even outside the Parliament, he continued the struggle for independence of Puducherry. He soon became the beloved leader of the local people with his dedication, sacrifice and simple life. He organized the Communist Party, trade union and mass organizations. Pududherry gained independence in 1954. In 1954 he led the people's front and its candidates got elected in many constituencies though could not form the government. He was the leader of opposition in 1954 and again in 1963. He was MLA during 1964-69. He become a minister of Agriculture, Co-operatives and health in 1969-73 in a coalition government and was responsible for resolving issues involved. It was to his credit that several welfare measures were taken in his tenure. His wife Com Saraswathi Subbaiah was also MLA and leader of the NFIW.