Trade unions in a constrained environment: workers' voices from a New Industrial Zone in India
Challenges to unions worldwide are often framed in a strategic tension between enterprise unionism on one hand, and mobilisation for unions’ continued relevance under neoliberal global capitalism on the other. However, research in a New Industrial Zone (NIZ) in India reveals a complex picture: a variety of unions across firms that are not always explained by existing definitions and models. Alongside political and enterprise unions, a third dimension emerges out of new forms of grassroots community links rooted in the living areas of workers. This paper argues for a socio-historical institutional analysis of union–worker–firm–state relations under the new political economy of a NIZ, with a focus on workers’ experiences and living areas, in order to explain the varied structures and strategies of unions.
Citation:Hammer, A. (2010) Trade unions in a constrained environment: workers' voices from a New Industrial Zone in India. Industrial Relations Journal, 41 (2), pp. 168-184