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

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Evolution of Unionism and Labour Market Structure-Case of Bombay Textile Mills, 1947-1985

Using primary and secondary data this paper shows that the origins of the phenomenon of independent unionism in the Bombay mill industry were embedded in the dynamics of technological transformation within the industry as well as in the struggles of the workers at the mill level over time. The evolution of both the structure of collective negotiations and the structure of textile unionism occurs simultaneously. Thus not only does the bargaining structure result from prior union-management negotiations and varying capital intensities within firms in an industry, but the type of unionism is transformed during these processes. Examining the opposing forces of the law in preserving the status quo in the form of the BIR Act and the role of the 1982 strike in breaking down the state-imposed industry-wide bargaining structure in the industry, it is observed that the strike was partially successful.

Sickness in Indian Textile Industry-Causes and Remedies

Four points are worth noting about the nature of sickness in the textile industry: it is neither temporary nor isolated; it largely afflicts the organised sector; within the organised sector, the composite mills are suffering more; and it is more pervasive in the older textile centres like Ahmedabad and Bombay.

Bombay Labour Once Again

THE history of Bombay textile labour continues to occupy the scholarly interest of professional social scientists. 

Cloth for the Rich

Even the most knowledgeable men in the textile industry and trade have often wondered at the emerging textile situation and have been hard put to offer a convincing explanation for the declining fortunes of an industry catering to the basic need of a fast-growing population in a developing economy with a completely sheltered market. This is mainly because the textile scene has generally presented a curious mixture of many diverse, odd elements. 

Textile Industry on Wrong Course

The cotton mill industry which had been hopefully looking forward to a measure of relief in the wake of a pickup in cloth offtake has had to contend -with the formidable problem of acute shortage of cotton and the consequent upsurge in prices — for the time being, pushing the basic issues to the background. 

MAHARASHTRA I- Unlearnt Lessons of 1970

The prominent role of the Shiv Sena in the recent communal trouble in and around Bombay is a matter of common knowledge. It does seem though that the trouble blew up way beyond the party's expectation and control, claiming 258 lives, according to the government's figures. 

Industry- Lock-Outs with a Purpose

Two inferences seem to follow from the data on industrial disputes published in the January 1984 issue of Indian Labour Journal First, throughout the period 1974 to 1982, the time lost per industrial dispute and the time lost per worker were several times more in the case of lock-outs than in that of strikes. In other words, lockouts by managements were of much longer duration than strikes by workers. One likely explanation may be that owners of out-dated plant and machinery resort to lock-outs either as a step towards closing down their units or as a pressure tactic for extracting more aid and concessions from the government. 

Budget and Textiles

The Union finance minister Pranab Mukherjee is reported to have warned the textile industry that if it failed to pass on to the consumers the budgetary concessions it would meet the same fate as the tyre industry whose concessions were withdrawn. He has provided "substantial relief 1 to the industry "with a view to making cloth cheaper" and the industry is expected to "benefit through increased demand that lower prices would generate". This sounds quite plausible but it is an oversimplification of a complex market phenomenon. 

Politics and Organisations of Urban Workers

The working class is an apparently privileged section. It has sained a more or less secure entry into the mainstream of economy, the sphere of organised production. In a society characterised by unemployment, poverty, scarcity and deprivation even wage slavery can be considered a privilege. 

Weighed Down by Textile Crisis

DCM, formerly Delhi Cloth and General Mills Company, has suffered a setback m its working during the year ended June 1983., Gross profit has shrunk to Rs 12.75 crore from previous year's Rs 15,06 crore despite increase in turnover from Rs 398 crore to Rs 432 crore. After depreciation and taxation, there is a net loss of Rs 3.17 crore against a net profit of Rs 3.50 crore previously. Depreciation has uniformly been calculated on building and plant and machinery on 'straight line' basis and on other assets on 'written-down value' basis. The resultant excess depreciation provision of previous'years amounting to Rs 16.35 crore has been written back. This hfcs enabled the company to announce an unchanged 15 per cent dividend.

Growth and Technical Change in Indian-Cotton-Mill Industry

After a period of relatively good performance in the fifties and early sixties, the textile industry entered a phase of 'crisis' in the mid-sixties characterised by a deceleration in the growth of output and investment and closure of a number of firms afflicted by 'sickness'.

Modern Machinery Is Not Enough

IT is indeed ironical that the silver jubilee of the Indian Cotton Mills Federation should have come off at a time when the industry is in deep trouble. The rich tribute s paid to the ICMF for its services to the industry may seem very appropriate to the occasion but they sound odd in the context of the marked deterioration in the industry's health over the years. Taking the public and private sector mills together, nearly 45 per cent of the total spinning capacity and 60 per cent of the weaving capacity is accounted for by sick units. All this has come about during the past 25 years. 


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