ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

Review of LabourSubscribe to Review of Labour

ILO Initiative on Contract Labour

When governments of developing countries are increasingly adopting policies depriving regular workers of job security and promoting contract labour in the name of labour market flexibility, it is in the interests of all working class to devise strategies together to roll back the so-called economic reforms.

Polluting Industries, Environment and Workers Health-A Case for Intervention

The polluting industries expose both the workers and the environment to hazardous substances. These industries are characterised by an insufficient and hazardous use of labour and an excessive use of natural resources. Thus the issues of betterment of working conditions inside the industries and environmental protection outside it, are closely interlinked. Occupational health is an essential part of working conditions, since most of the health problems occur among workers exposed to unhealthy substances and dangerous situations. The awareness regarding the interlinkages of workers' interests, occupational health and environmental protection is increasing, as reflected in some recent initiatives and legal interventions.

Trade Unions and Class Mobilisation of Workers-Towards a Theory of Social Polarisation and Mobilisation

On the basis of a historically specific case-study of industrial relations in a manufacturing plant, this article attempts to extrapolate wider theoretical implications regarding two social processes, namely, social polarisation and social mobilisation. The social legitimacy of the employers gets eroded when workers, spread across different locations of a company, align to articulate their grievance of relative deprivation. Further deepening of social cleavage within the organisation takes place when the labour leadership takes up programmes to mobilise workers into collective action and remits support for its demands from macro structures like political parties.

A Cure for Loneliness-Networks, Trust, and Shared Services in Bangalore

'Flexible specialisation' happens when clusters of smaller firms co-operate in production, marketing, and product development. This requires trust, and/or collective provision of 'real services'. Bangalore's smaller engineering and electronic firms work for larger firms, but some develop their own products. Engineers and workers are quality-conscious; innovation is market-led. Entrepreneurs are often too suspicious to co-operate or share information, but there are productive friendships and consortia. Firms benefit from 'real services'. What are the bases and limits of trust? Can 'real services' make up for lack of trust? This study is relevant to other countries with large labour surpluses.

Politics of Gujarat

Gujarat - Political Analysis by Nagindas Sanghavi; Centre for Social Studies, Sural, pp 333, Rs 250. THE study of the 'Union of States' is not complete without knowing the state of states. The states in India with their diversities offer exciting possibilities of explorations in the study of Indian politics. Nagindas Sanghavi brings an interesting and useful study on Gujarat, Gujarat A Political Analysis, which adds to our understanding of the politics in India. Politics of Gmirat has attracted the scholars like D N Pathak, K D Desai, Pravin Sheth, Ghanshyam Shah, Manhar Bakshi and John Wood. Sanghavi has also been a keen observer and commentator on political situation in Gujarat. So far most of his work has been in Gujarati, this study of his in English is welcome particularly now when politics in Gujarat has been taking interesting and unexpected changes.

Rural Labour Market in Kerala-Small Holder Agriculture and Labour Market Dynamics

The pattern of land distribution and the nature of the crops grown are, inter alia, two key determinants of rural labour market dynamics. Most of the existing literature on rural labour markets have the skewed distribution of land and the predominance of annual crops as their behavioural assumptions. It is argued here that the theories developed on these assumptions are unable to explain the labour market behaviour in rural Kerala where agriculture is characterised by the predominance of small holdings and perennial tree crops. These two characteristics have substantially altered the structure of the labour market from the stylised model and hence theories based on the dominant norm fail to explain the labour market behaviour in Kerala.

Globalisation of Capital, Multinational Corporations and Labour-Towards a Perspective

In the pursuit of strategies of accumulation and profitability global capital is pushing through an increasingly 'borderless world1 and emerging as the dominant global social-economic-cultural power. The other side of the coin is the emergence of a global working class(es) working directly or indirectly for global capital. This article examines the manner in which companies, especially in Asia, are globalising and the strategies they tend to follow. Strategies adopted by a leading multinational, British American Tobacco, and its Indian affiliate, itself aspiring to become a multinational, are examined as illustrative of a generalising phenomenon.

Operationalisation of Flexible Specialisation-Agra s Footwear Industry

Agra's Footwear Industry Peter Knorringa Even though no industrial cluster in the world can live up to the flexible specialisation model, it does generate ideas useful for exploring possible roads ahead for low-tech craft-based clusters in India. In this paper the authors argue that a comparative advantage in manufacturing quality-competitive hand-made shoes can only be achieved if workers are not treated only as a cost but also as an asset Still, at present most workers in Agra manufacture low quality products under sweat-shop rule. A shift to more quality-competitive production with better employment conditions seems feasible because of firstly, the present underutilisation of artisanal skills, and, secondly, booming market niches for fashionable artisanal designer shoes. However, such a shift is impeded by caste-based antagonism, omnipresent instability and the use of outdated technologies.

Flexible Specialisation-New Paradigm for Industrialisation for Developing Countries

New Paradigm for Industrialisation for Developing Countries? Subesh K Das P Panayiotopoulos The new paradigm for industrialisation has been developed based on experiences in the industrialised countries. This article examines whether flexible specialisation could be a new paradigm for industrial policies in developing countries with particular reference to the textile and the garment sectors.

Class Re-formation in Mumbai-Has Organised Labour Risen to the Challenge

Has Organised Labour Risen to the Challenge? Stephen Sherlock The labour movement which made an impact on the character of the Mumbai working class in the past is losing much of its capacity to influence class formation at the level of consciousness and struggle. Past successes were the result of determination and sacrifice, but the fruits of this struggle were channelled into organisations which depended on an environment created by the state. While circumstances have changed, there appears to be a reluctance on the part of the trade unions to recognise the limitations of past achievements and to relate to the new Mumbai working class.

Political Economy of Voluntary Retirement-Study of Rationalised Workers in Durgapur

Study of 'Rationalised' Workers in Durgapur Ratan Khasnabis Sudipti Banerjea The article explores the mechanisms behind the workers' acceptance of voluntary retirement scheme in the Durgapur industrial area of West Bengal. Though there is willingness on the part of the workers to accept the compensation in some cases, there are sizeable number of instances of coercion from the management forcing the workers to accept the deal. More importantly, the amount of VRS gets mostly utilised for non-productive purposes, thus reducing the chances of the retired workers to begin any self-employment venture.

State Intervention and the Working Class Movement

Sharit Kumar Bhowmik The state has played a dominant role in influencing the course of the trade union movement in India. The fissures which appeared soon after independence developed into what is today the bane of the working class movement, multi-unionism. The state's interventions in regulating industrial relations have, generally, dampened independent workers' initiatives and encouraged inter-union rivalries.

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