ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Quasi-magisterial Power of ‘Madams’

The “Noida case” in Delhi, whereindomestic workers protesting the torture of one of their ranks were booked by the police for rioting, showcases the exploitation at different levels that these workers and their families suffer. Not only do their employers virtually treat them like slaves but the police and lawyers also take advantage of their helplessness and ignorance to foist false charges and fleece them of their hard-earned money. In this particular incident, a union minister who is also the local MP gave the entire incident a communal colour by insinuating that hard-pressed employers were forced to employ “Bangladeshis” in their homes.

Fears and Furies of Sexual Harassment

The Internal Complaints Committee to deal with sexual harassment cases at workplaces has absolved the state of its responsibility to uphold workers' rights to form labour unions to demand better working conditions. The gender-labour bifurcation, inherent in the ICCs, is erasing rather than establishing the fact that gender discrimination is embedded within labour relations.

Workers' Discontent and Form of Trade Union Politics

An assessment of the Maruti Suzuki Employees Union's struggles against the Suzuki management in Manesar (Gurgaon) reveals that like central trade unions, plant unions also tend to reproduce a form of bureaucratic functioning. This results in a split between leaders and the rank and file - a tendency which often leads to the betrayal of the interests of the struggling workers. This propensity of isolation of the rank and file in workers' struggles is a product of the complex process whereby the trade union form of politics has been integrated within the legal apparatus of the bourgeoisie-friendly state.

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