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

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Worker Politics, Trade Unions and the Shiv Sena's Rise in Central Bombay

The Shiv Sena's rise from the 1960s was assisted in large part by its ability to effectively channel emotions based on identity. It was the mill areas of central Bombay that formed the battleground for different political parties as they fought for representation of the class that had played a key role in shaping the city's destiny. Whereas the actions of the left parties were limited to the workplace, the Sena, through its shakhas, ensconced itself in the neighbourhood and rather than radical worker concerns took up emotive issues relating to livelihood and identity that played up the image of the deprived Maharashtrian.

Mode of Labour Control in Colonial India

From the late 19th century onwards, managing agency firms acquired a firm control of most cotton, jute and other mills as well as tea gardens and local mines, while looking at processes of labour control in the Bengal jute mills, the coalfields of Bengal and Bihar and the cotton mills of Bombay and Ahmedabad, this paper probes deeper into the dichotomy that prevailed as industrial capitalism first set up roots in India, for while policy decisions relating to wages, technology, etc, was vested in the managing agency system, disciplining of labour took place at the shop floor and in workers' neighbourhoods. Further, these middlemen, jobbers and agents came to exert overweening influence in the 'culture of coercion' that was thus established.

Economic Reforms and Industrial Structure in India

This paper focuses on the impact of India's economic reforms on industrial structure and productivity. It reveals a disappointing overall performance in both output growth and employment. This, however, is not the result of exogenous factors,but the consequence of the type of policies being followed under economic reforms. If mistakes were made in the past, they need to be corrected. But efforts should be made to ensure that demand is high enough for more output to be produced, more people to be employed, poverty to be reduced.

Social Implications of Voluntary Retirement Scheme

The impact of voluntary retirement schemes has had wide-ranging impact on the nature of employment, and is changing the quality of workers' lives. One of the effects is the increasing casualisation of labour. This article examines the nature of change in the quality of life among workers who have accepted VRS, locating some of the problems in the context of the employers' attitude to VRS.

Labour Process in the Informal Sector

This paper attempts to study the features of the labour process in a transitional situation, on the basis of a field survey in the informal handloom weaving sector in Nadia district. This process depends largely on the nature of the institutional arrangement in the sector, where usury capital has a strong presence due to the influence of the merchant lender, the 'mahajan'. The deskilling tendency associated with the relation between the producer and the mahajan and the unity of conception and execution in some cases are among the characteristics that describe this labour process.

An Informalised Labour System

The textile mill closures in Ahmedabad cost over 1,00,000 jobs, and resulted in the informalisation of a vast majority of the sacked workers. Gujarat can thus be understood as an experiment for trying out what will happen to state and society under a policy regime that does not attempt to harness the most brutal consequences of a market-led mode of capitalist protection. The total eclipse of Gandhian values has also led to the shrinking of the social space needed for humanising economic growth.

Tough Challenges in Informal Sector

Informal Sector in India: Perspectives and Policies edited by Amitabh Kundu and Alakh N Sharma; Institute for Human Development and Institute of Applied Manpower Research, New Delhi, 2001;

Employment and Poverty in 1990s

The release of the Provisional Population Totals based on Population Census 2001 necessitates revisions in the estimates of population and of workforce for 1993-94 and 1999-2000 and hence also in the estimates of labour productivity. Besides carrying out the necessary revisions in the size of the workforce (and in labour productivity), this paper offers a detailed industrial distribution of the workforce as well as an occupation distribution of the workforce based on the additional tables now available from the NSS 55th Round Employment-Unemployment Survey.

Redevelopment of Mumbai s Cotton Textile Mill Land-Opportunity Lost

The decline of textile industry heralds the de-industrialisation of Mumbai, manifested in the exodus of workers from the city's mill areas. The mill-owners in order to earn bigger revenue are resorting to subterfuge in disposing of their land, workers and assets under the pretext of 'modernising' their mills. None of the agencies involved, from central government to state government institutions and the municipal authorities, appears to be unduly concerned about this major change in industrial heartland of Mumbai In order to retain the social heritage of Girangaon, and most importantly, to retain as many jobs as possible, the state government instead of permitting piecemeal, haphazard growth through clandestine plot-by-plot sale of mill land, should actively intervene to bring together lands belonging to different mills in a particular area, so that they can be put to best possible socially relevant use.

Mumbai's Textile Mills and the Land Question

In refusing to give permission to textile mills in Mumbai to sell their land the Maharashtra government gives the impression that it is being sympathetic to the cause of the mill workers, but actually it is pandering to the builders' lobby. The take-no-decision policy of the state government does not mean, however, that changes will not take place, albeit haphazardly and clandestinely. Based on recent developments, some likely scenarios are sketched here.

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