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.

Cotton Mill Workers in Bombay, 1875 to 1918-Conditions of Work and Life

Conditions of Work and Life Shashi Bhushan Upadhyay On the basis of evidence from contemporary sources, this paper attempts to capture the domestic and workplace environment of the early cotton mill workers in Bombay city. The long hours of work in the mills exhausted the workers both physically and mentally The physical environment of their homes was no better; neglected by the authorities and exploited by private builders, the workers lived in ill-lighted, ill-ventilated dens in largely undeveloped, undrained areas. To find solace from this hard life of labour the workers often resorted to alcohol drinking. The regular intake of alcohol coupled with their hard work in the mills and the polluted atmosphere both at home and in the mills weakened their resistance and made them easy prey to various diseases, the lack of organised labour activity during the period under study was also attributable to the grim daily routine of the workers.

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.
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