Industrial Relations refers to the social relationships that people enter into to produce material goods and services. In an inegalitarian society such as India, the unequal relationship between capital and labour leads to inequality in the industry. The struggle for equality often expresses itself in various forms—for example, unionisation.
This volume focuses on the sociology and politics of the relations between management and workforce, and details the highly statist and legalist Industrial Relations ‘system’ in India. It discusses the role of dominant institutions, such as managements, unions, and law and jurisprudence in the way this system evolved. Drawing on a broad corpus of literature on capital-labour relations, and detailed analyses of case law on retrenchment and closures, the volume argues for building and strengthening labour unions, and an independent politics of the working class in India.
At a time when a comprehensive Indian Industrial Relations theory is yet to be formulated, this book advocates for a new socio-political approach, as against the widely prevalent techno-managerial view. It fills a lacuna in the extant literature, which is either excessively theoretical—thereby glossing over realities such as conflict—or rooted in Western examples, with no reference to the Indian context. Students and scholars of sociology, economics and law, and organisations working on labour issues will find this book very useful.
V. Janardhan is Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Hyderabad.
List of Abbreviations
Foreword by Sharit K. Bhowmik