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

Review of LabourSubscribe to Review of Labour

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 However, such a shift is impeded by caste-based antagonism, omnipresent instability and the use of outdated technologies.

Issues Leading to Strikes-A Comment on Reclassification

The revised classification of causes leading to strikes by the Labour Bureau merely creates several new and insignificant categories, leaving the basic parameters of classification untouched.

Management, Production System and Labour-Case Study of a Textile Mill

In the last decade because of profound changes in the economic environment many companies have been introducing 'new technologies' to retain and develop the competitive advantages of their products. This however involves changes in the production system which has implications for both management and labour.

Dividing Space and Labour-Spatial Dynamics of Multinational Corporations

This paper examines the space-sector interface of the operation of multinational corporations with special reference to the spatial dynamics of labour and production. Taking examples from India the article shows how these corporations make use of the dynamics of space to divide both space and labour and deftly exploit region-specific characteristics of poor countries on an international scale in the name of globalising production.

Industrial Restructuring, Unions and the State-Textile Mill Workers in Ahmedabad

Organised labour in India is generally believed to have an edge over other groups in collective bargaining strength, in its access to political power holders who determine the scale and allocation of social security. However, sections of organised labour too are being pushed out of the formal sector of the economy in the process of industrial restructuring. This is what happened in the case of textile workers in Ahmedabad who lost their jobs in 1984-94 as a consequence of the widespread closure of mills, in the context of declining employment opportunities in Gujarat.

Liberalisation and Industrial Relations

The primary conditions for the creation of international division of labour are the availability of cheap labour, an efficient telecommunication system, a worldwide mobilisation of capital and development of multilateral institutions. The process of liberalisation currently under way is directed at creating these conditions. The restructuring of industry, changes in the business environment and the slackening of labour laws in India have to be seen as part of the effort to put a new international division of labour in place.

Indian Working Class and Some Recent Historiographical Issues

Marxist and progressive-minded historians have undoubtedly made important contributions, particularly in the area of workers' struggles, trade unions and the influence of political and ideological movements on these struggles and organisations. But their writings have often ignored the complexities of the historical formation of the Indian working class and have not dealt with many critical areas and major themes, among them, labour process and labour forms, control over and subordination of labour, leadership patterns at different levels, the relationship between the workplace and the community life outside it and proletarianisation and class formation. Furthermore, larger themes of culture, ideology and mentalities, gender dimension, or protests and deference at the macro as well as micro levels and interrelations between these and the politics involved have been neglected.


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