ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846
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Part-time Domestic Workers in Kolkata

Bargaining over Wages

Focusing on wage determination, this paper looks at the various economic, social and cultural dimensions that enter the calculation of the wage and bargaining around it. Given the specificity of paid domestic work in urban employment, this study argues that both the supply of labour and negotiation of the wage are as much influenced by ideologies of feminine domesticity, performance of work in familial spaces and the social construction of skill, on the one hand, as by competition and lack of alternative opportunities and social security, on the other. In exploring the process of bargaining, it critically examines the role of recruitment agencies and unionisation. While the former becomes simply a "middleman", the latter moves at a slow pace caught between the dual role of organiser and employer.



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