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This book showcases issues of work and employment in contemporary India through a critical lens, serving as a systematic, scholarly and rigorous resource which provides an alternate view to the glowing metanarrative of the subcontinent’s ongoing economic growth in today’s globalized world. Critical approaches ensure that divergent and marginalized voices are highlighted, promoting a more measured perspective of entrenched standpoints. In casting social reality differently, a quest for solutions that reshape current dynamics is triggered. The volume spans five thematic areas, subsuming a range of economic sectors. India is a pre-eminent destination for offshoring, underscoring the relevance of global production networks (Theme 1). Yet, the creation of jobs has not transformed employment patterns in the country but rather accentuated informalization and casualization (Theme 2). Indeed, even India’s ICT-related sectors, perceived as mascots of modernity and vehicles for upward mobility, raise questions about the extent of social upgrading (Theme 3). Nonetheless, these various developments have not been accompanied by collective action—instead; there is growing evidence of diminished pluralistic employment relations strategies (Theme 4). Emergent concerns about work and employment such as gestational surrogacy and expatriate experiences attest to the evolving complexities associated with offshoring (Theme 5).
ErnestoNoronha· PremillaD'Cruz
on Work and
Employment in
Globalizing India
Critical Perspectives on Work and Employment
in Globalizing India
Ernesto Noronha Premilla DCruz
Critical Perspectives on Work
and Employment
in Globalizing India
Ernesto Noronha
Organizational Behaviour (OB)
Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad, Gujarat
Premilla DCruz
Organizational Behaviour (OB)
Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad
Ahmedabad, Gujarat
ISBN 978-981-10-3490-9 ISBN 978-981-10-3491-6 (eBook)
DOI 10.1007/978-981-10-3491-6
Library of Congress Control Number: 2016961665
©Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017
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In memory of Sharit Bhowmick, teacher and
friend, who cheered us on in innumerable
Putting this book together assumed greater relevance and urgency for us as we
observed, over an extended period of time, the lack of a consolidated resource
offering an alternate view to the mainstream discourse on work and employment in
contemporary India. We are grateful to all the authors for being a part of our
volume, contributing important insights on various aspects of the topic. It has been
wonderful interacting with them and we commend their cooperation with our
numerous deadlines and style requirements. Our thanks are due to Shinjini
Chatterjee of Springer for her involvement and inputs in bringing out this book. Her
colleagues, Shruti Raj and Priya Vyas, have been extremely helpful through all the
stages of production. Ankur Sumesra, our ever-dependable secretary, deserves a
special mention for his efcient assistance. The efforts of Anita Ahuja and Anshu
Tewari in streamlining the references are much appreciated.
1 The World of Work in Contemporary India: The Relevance
of a Critical Lens......................................... 1
Ernesto Noronha and Premilla DCruz
Theme 1: Indias Place in Global Production Networks
2White Goldfor Whom? A Study of Institutional Aspects
of Work and Wages in Cotton GPNs in India ................. 15
Sukhpal Singh
3 Why Has the Indian Automotive Industry Reproduced
Low RoadLabour Relations?............................. 37
Tom Barnes
4The Recession Has Passed but the Effects Are Still with Us:
Employment, Work Organization and Employee
Experiences of Work in Post-crisis Indian BPO ................ 57
Chandrima Roy, Dora Scholarios and Phil Taylor
Theme 2: Rising Informalization and Casualization
of Employment
5 Informal Work in the Formal Sector: Conceptualizing
the Changing Role of the State in India ...................... 83
Babu P. Remesh
6 Matter in Motion: Work and Livelihoods in Indias
Economy of Waste........................................ 95
Barbara Harriss-White
7 Reclassifying Economies by the Degree and Intensity
of Informalization: The Implications for India ................. 113
Colin C. Williams
Theme 3: ICT-Related OffshoringRewriting
the Trajectory of Indian Society?
8 Altering the Social Fabric of the Working Poor? Work
and Employment Issues of Support Workers Catering
to International ICT-ITES Firms in Mumbai .................. 133
Randhir Kumar and Niels Beerepoot
9 Jack of All Trades and Master of None? The Development
of IT (Compatible) Qualication Between State, Company
and Individual Career Planning ............................. 153
Nicole Mayer-Ahuja and Patrick Feuerstein
10 Partially Empowering but not Decent? The Contradictions
of Online Labour Markets ................................. 173
Premilla DCruz
Theme 4: Challenges Facing Industrial Relations
and Collective Action
11 The Paradoxes of Social Partnership and Union Revival
in India ................................................ 199
Vidu Badigannavar
12 Locating Worker Power in a Changing Bargaining Scenario ..... 221
Supriya Routh
13 India at the Crossroads? Economic Restructuring,
Deregulation and the Instability of Labour Relations ............ 241
David Beale
Theme 5: Emerging Issues
14 Gestational Surrogacy in India: New Dynamics
of Reproductive Labour ................................... 267
Amrita Pande
15 Going Dutch, Remaining Indian: The Work Experiences
of IT Expatriates ......................................... 283
Ernesto Noronha and Slawek Magala
x Contents
Editors and Contributors
About the Editors
Ernesto Noronha holds a Ph.D. in Social Sciences from the Tata Institute of Social
Sciences, Mumbai, India. He is currently a professor of Organizational Behaviour at the
Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, India, where he teaches macro-
organizational behaviour, research methodology, and sociology of work and employ-
ment to postgraduate and doctoral students. His research interests include workplace
ethnicity, technology and work, and labour and globalization. Professor Noronha has
been awarded many multilateral and bilateral grants to study various aspects of employee
experiences of work in Indias offshoring and outsourcing sector, focusing on new and
unexplored areas such as organizational control, diversity, telework and collectivization.
He has been a visiting professor at the Industrial and Labour Relations (ILR) School,
Cornell University, and at the Institute for Sociology, University of Vienna. Professor
Noronha has presented invited talks as a visiting scholar at numerous European uni-
versities such as Strathclyde, Portsmouth, Bergen and Hamburg, in addition to the
keynote address at the 2010 Work, Employment and Society (WES) conference.
Premilla DCruz holds a Ph.D. in Social Sciences from the Tata Institute of Social
Sciences, Mumbai, India. She is currently a professor of Organizational Behaviour at the
Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, India, where she teaches micro-
organizational behaviour and workplace creativity to postgraduate and doctoral stu-
dents and industry practitioners. Professor DCruzs research interests include work-
place bullying, emotions at work, self and identity, organizational control, and
information and communication technologies (ICTs) and organizations. Her studies on
workplace bullying in the Indian context have been pioneering both in terms of geo-
graphical location and substantive issues. Professor DCruz has been a visiting scholar
at various European and Australian universities and has received several multilateral and
bilateral research grants. She is currently the President of the International Association
on Workplace Bullying and Harassment (IAWBH), having earlier served as Secretary
(20102016) and Special Interest Groups Coordinator (20082010).
Vidu Badigannavar Aston University, Birmingham, UK
Tom Barnes Institute for Religion, Politics and Society, Australian Catholic
University, Melbourne, Australia
David Beale Manchester Business School, University of Manchester, Manchester,
Niels Beerepoot Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research, University of
Amsterdam, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Premilla DCruz Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad, India
Patrick Feuerstein Institute of Sociology, University of Goettingen, Goettingen,
Barbara Harriss-White Oxford University, Oxford, UK
Randhir Kumar Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Hyderabad, India
Slawek Magala Department of Organization and Personnel Management,
Rotterdam School of Management, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Nicole Mayer-Ahuja Institute of Sociology, University of Goettingen,
Goettingen, Germany
Ernesto Noronha Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad, India
Amrita Pande Department of Sociology, University of Cape Town, Rondebosch,
South Africa
Babu P. Remesh School of Development Studies, Ambedkar University Delhi,
Delhi, India
Supriya Routh Faculty of Law, University of Victoria, Victoria, Canada
Chandrima Roy Department of Human Resource Management, University of
Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Dora Scholarios Department of Human Resource Management, University of
Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Sukhpal Singh Centre for Management in Agriculture, Indian Institute of
Management Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad, India
Phil Taylor Department of Human Resource Management, University of
Strathclyde, Glasgow, UK
Colin C. Williams Shefeld University Management School, University of
Shefeld, Shefeld, UK
xii Editors and Contributors
A&F Accounting and Finance
AHT Average Handling Time
AICTE All Indian Council for Technical Education
AITUC All India Trade Union Confederation
ASHA Accredited Social Health Activist
BBC British Broadcasting Corporation
BC Better Cotton
BCI Better Cotton Initiative
BE Bachelor of Engineering
BJP Bharatiya Janata Party
BMS Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh
BPL Below Poverty Line
BPO/M Business Process Outsourcing/Management
BSc Bachelor of Science
CARA Central Adoption Resource Authority
CEE Centre for Environment Education
CFTUI Confederation of Free Trade Unions of India
CIE Council of Indian Employers
CII Confederation of Indian Industry
CITU Confederation of Indian Trade Unions
CMIE Centre for Monitoring the Indian Economy
CMMI Capability Maturity Model Integration
CMR Chennai Metropolitan Region
CPI Communist Party of India
CPI-M Communist Party of IndiaMarxist
CPO Contract Production Organization
C-SEZ Chakan Special Economic Zone
CSR Corporate Social Responsibility
DA Dearness Allowance
DFG German Research Foundation
DM Developer, Male
DtE Down to Earth
EEO Equal Employment Opportunity
EJF Environmental Justice Foundation
EMI Equated Monthly Installment
EPF EmployeesProvident Fund
ESI EmployeesState Insurance
FCR First Call Resolution
FDI Foreign Direct Investment
FIEU Ford India Employees Union
FLA Fair Labour Association
FLE Front-Line Employee
FT Fair Trade
FTE Full-Time Equivalent
FTI Fairtrade International
GATT General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade
GCC Global Commodity Chain
GDP Gross Domestic Product
GM Genetically Modied
GNI Gross National Income
GNP Gross National Product
GOI Government of India
GPN Global Production Network
GVC Global Value Chain
GWN Gurgaon Worker News
HDPS High Density Planting System
HLO Hired Labour Organization
HMIATS Hyundai Motor India Anna Thozhilalar Sangam
HMIEU Hyundai Motor India Employees Union
HMS Hind Mazdoor Sabha
HR Human Resource
HRM Human Resource Management
HRO Human Resource Outsourcing
HSMI Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India
IBRD International Bank for Reconstruction and Development
(a.k.a. the World Bank)
ICDS Integrated Child Development Scheme
ICT Information and Communication Technology
ICTDs Information and Communication Technologies and Devices
IDA Industrial Disputes Act
IIT Indian Institute of Technology
IJV International Joint Venture
ILC Indian Labour Conference
ILER Indian Labour and Employment Report
ILO International Labour Organization
xiv Abbreviations
IMF International Monetary Fund
INTUC Indian National Trade Union Congress
IP Implementing Partner
IR Industrial Relations
ISEC Institute for Social and Economic Change
ISF Indian Stafng Federation
ISO International Organization for Standardization
IT Information Technology
ITES Information Technology Enabled Services
IUF International Union of Food, Agricultural, Hotel, Restaurant,
Catering, Tobacco and Allied WorkersAssociations
JCB Colloquial (Brand) Name for a Mechanical Excavator/Digger
JCC Joint Consultative Committee
Kg Kilogramme
KKPKP Kagad Kach Patra Kashtakari Panchayat
KPO Knowledge Process Outsourcing
£British Pound
LLR Labour Law Reporter
MA Master of Arts
MBA Master of Business Administration
MF Manager, Female
MLM Middle Level Management
MM Manager, Male
MMS Majoor Mahajan Sangh
MNC Multinational Corporation
MPC Minimum Production Criterion
MRTU and PULP Maharashtra Recognition of Trade Unions and Prevention of
Unfair Labour Practices Act
MSI Multi-stakeholder Initiative
MSME Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises
MWSU Maruti Suzuki Workers Unions
NACO National AIDS Control Organization
NASSCOM National Association of Software and Services Companies
NCEUS National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganized
NCL National Centre for Labour
NCR National Capital Region
NDTV New Delhi Television
NGO Non-governmental Organization
NREGS National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme
NRHM National Rural Health Mission
NRLM National Rural Livelihoods Mission
NSS National Sample Survey
NTUI National Trade Union Initiative
OBC Other Backward Class
Abbreviations xv
OECD Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
OEM Original Equipment Manufacturer
OICA Organisation Internationale des Constructeurs dAutomobiles
OLM Online Labour Market
OT Overtime
PDF (representative of) Personnel Department, Female
PDM (representative of) Personnel Department, Male
PF Provident Fund
PhD Doctor of Philosophy
PMM Project Manager, Male
PMO Prime MinistersOfce
PSS Peoples Security Survey
PSU Public Sector Unit
PTI Press Trust of India
Qtl Quintal
RMG Ready-Made Garment
Rs. Indian Rupees
RSBY Rashtriya Swasthya Bima Yojna
SC Scheduled Caste
SCOPE Standing Conference on Public Enterprises
SEF Software Engineer, Female
SEM Software Engineer, Male
SEWA Self-Employed Womens Association
SEZ Special Economic Zone
SIAM Society of Indian Automotive Manufacturers
SLA Service-Level Agreement
SLC Standing Labour Committee
SLM Senior Level Management
SNCL Second National Commission on Labour
SPO Small Producer Organization
SPSS Statistical Package for Social Sciences
ST Scheduled Tribe
TLA Textile Labour Association
TLF Team Lead, Female
TLM Team Lead, Male
TPS Toyota Production System
TUC Trades Union Congress
UCD Uneven and Combined Development
UIDAI Unique Identication Authority of India
UK United Kingdom
UN United Nations
UNCTAD United Nations Conference on Trade and Development
UPA United Progressive Alliance
US$ US Dollar
USA/US United States of America
xvi Abbreviations
UUHE United Union of Hyundai Employees
VoC Varieties of Capitalism
VRS Voluntary Retirement Scheme
WEF World Economic Forum
WTO World Trade Organization
WWF World Wide Fund for Nature
Abbreviations xvii
List of Figures
Figure 7.1 Typology of economies by level of employment
in the informal economy as percentage of all
non-agricultural employment .......................... 116
Figure 7.2 Relationship between degree of informalization
and GNP per capita ................................. 120
Figure 7.3 Relationship between degree and intensity
of informalization .................................. 122
Figure 10.1 Concomitance of empowerment and disempowerment....... 187
List of Tables
Table 2.1 Cotton farmer category and BC status wise land area
owned and operated (in acres) in Surendranagar district
in Gujarat in 201415 ................................ 25
Table 2.2 Category wise and BC status wise cotton yield
(quintals/acre) in Surendranagar district in Gujarat
in 201415 ........................................ 27
Table 3.1 Main automotive producing regions and players in India
(passenger cars, two- and three-wheelers) ................. 43
Table 4.1 International facing BPO/M and call centre employment
in India200215................................... 59
Table 7.1 The anatomy of informality ............................ 114
Table 7.2 Degree and intensity of informalization in 36 countries ....... 123
Table 8.1 Number of resource persons interviewed in each segment ..... 139
Table 8.2 Key corporate players in the support service industry
of Mumbai......................................... 141
Table 8.3 Typical screening parameters of cleaners and cab drivers ..... 142
Table 10.1 Participantssociodemographic details.................... 180
Table 11.1 Unfair labour practices reported by union representatives
(N= 447).......................................... 209
Table 11.2 Level of direct worker involvement in workplace-level
decisions (N= 143) .................................. 213
Chapter 1
The World of Work in Contemporary
India: The Relevance of a Critical Lens
Ernesto Noronha and Premilla DCruz
Abstract Globalization has been normalized as a dominant ideology that extols the
virtues of neoliberalism such as individualism, efciency, competition and minimal
state intervention through instruments of deregulation, liberalization and privati-
zation. Transnational chains increasingly make markets, sets prices and determine
the worldwide distribution of labour. This has radically altered the nature of work,
the labourcapital relationship and the composition of the working class. Increasing
transnationalization has contributed to a growing unevenness of labour standards
and a race to the bottom, posing a signicant challenge to trade unions. Thus,
given this context of the neoliberal project, critical perspectives have greater rele-
vance now as compared to earlier, with the need to focus on attaining a more
equitable resource distribution. Critical perspectives on work and employment call
into question the established social order and are particularly pertinent to India. The
Make in Indiaprogramme has become the cornerstone for Indias development
plan. To achieve this, the Government of India has focused its efforts on attracting
foreign direct investment (FDI) and facilitating the ease of doing business.
However, the essential element of the Make in Indiavision is labour. Taking a
critical view of these policy changes, it is clear that the Make in Indiaprogramme
is a low-road approach that seeks to revise labour laws and exempt industry from
their ambit, resulting in the further informalization and precariousness of the Indian
workforce. Terms such as Make in Indiaand Shramev Jayateand issues related
to the consolidation of labour laws, employment generation, trusting citizens and
cooperative federalism are used by the government in a bid to camouage ongoing
complexities associated with Indias workforce.
E. Noronha (&)P. DCruz
Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Ahmedabad, India
©Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2017
E. Noronha and P. DCruz (eds.), Critical Perspectives on Work
and Employment in Globalizing India, DOI 10.1007/978-981-10-3491-6_1
Keywords India Industrial relations Globalization Make in India
Informalization Critical perspectives
1.1 The Business Context of Globalization
Globalization is often understood as an increase in interconnections or growing
interdependence on a worldwide scale, with events in one part of the world instantly
affecting what takes place at distant locales. This is aided by the transnational ow
of capital, new technologies, information and migration across territorial bound-
aries. So deep-rooted is the phenomenon that it has been normalized as a dominant
ideology that extols the virtues of neoliberalism such as individualism, efciency,
competition and minimal state intervention through instruments of deregulation,
liberalization and privatization (Mittelman 2004). With the state having no power to
control large global ows, capital collectively transcends it and penetrates national
borders (Mittelman 2004). Transnational chains increasingly make markets, set
prices and determine the worldwide distribution of labour (Novelli and
Ferus-Camelo 2010). Globalization provides an ideological legitimization for the
retreat of the state while granting control over the economy to private capital
(Novelli and Ferus-Camelo 2010). As a result, many de jure governments lack de
facto authority (Moore 2013). Not surprisingly then, integration into the global
economy has become synonymous with the development of a number of newly
industrializing countries which have expanded their industrial capabilities and
export propensities allowing transnational corporations to outsource relatively
standardized activities to lower-cost production locations worldwide
(Anukoonwattaka 2011; Gerefet al. 2001; Geref2014). While lead rms, pre-
dominantly located in developed countries (including not only multinational
manufacturers but also large-scale retailers and brand-name rms), drive invest-
ments and international outsourcing by coordinating a network of buyers and
suppliers (Gerefet al. 2001), production is increasingly conducted by workers
located across the far reaches of global capitalism (Taylor 2008).
Though such dynamics may give rise to the notion that we live in a global
village, the discrepancies between winners and losers dispute this assertion
(Mittelman 2004). Neoliberalism has ushered in dramatic changes in the interactive
forces of capital, state and civil society which include workers and unions (Novelli
and Ferus-Camelo 2010). It has radically altered the nature of work, the labour
capital relationship and the composition of the working class (Cantin 2008; Novelli
and Ferus-Camelo 2010) as manufacturers and retailers scour the planet for sites
that house lowest cost production as well as places that are relatively freer from
government regulation, environmental constraints and pressures of the labour
movement (Taylor 2008). Increasing transnationalization has contributed to a
growing unevenness of labour