Workers, Unions, and Global Capitalism

Lessons from India

Rohini Hensman

Columbia University Press

Workers, Unions, and Global Capitalism

Pub Date: January 2011

ISBN: 9780231148009

440 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $70.00£58.00

Pub Date: January 2011

ISBN: 9780231519564

440 Pages

Format: E-book

List Price: $69.99£58.00

Workers, Unions, and Global Capitalism

Lessons from India

Rohini Hensman

Columbia University Press

While it's easy to blame globalization for shrinking job opportunities, dangerous declines in labor standards, and a host of related discontents, the "flattening" of the world has also created unprecedented opportunities for worker organization. By expanding employment in developing countries, especially for women, globalization has formed a basis for stronger workers' rights, even in remote sites of production.

Using India's labor movement as a model, Rohini Hensman charts the successes and failures, strengths and weaknesses, of the struggle for workers' rights and organization in a rich and varied nation. As Indian products gain wider acceptance in global markets, the disparities in employment conditions and union rights between such regions as the European Union and India's vast informal sector are exposed, raising the issue of globalization's implications for labor.

Hensman's study examines the unique pattern of "employees' unionism," which emerged in Bombay in the 1950s, before considering union responses to recent developments, especially the drive to form a national federation of independent unions. A key issue is how far unions can resist protectionist impulses and press for stronger global standards, along with the mechanisms to enforce them. After thoroughly unpacking this example, Hensman zooms out to trace the parameters of a global labor agenda, calling for a revival of trade unionism, the elimination of informal labor, and reductions in military spending to favor funding for comprehensive welfare and social security systems.
Overall, the author makes a comprehensive and persuasive case for global labor reform. CHOICE
A well-researched book on the subject of global capitalism and workers' rights... BizIndia
Preface
Introduction
1. Emancipatory Action Research Into Workers' Struggles
2. Defining Globalization
3. Four Sources of the Global Crisis of 2008
4. Capital, the State, and Trade Union Rights
5. Employees' Unions: An Experiment in Union Democracy
6. Informal Labor: The Struggle for Legal Recognition
7. Working Women and Reproductive Labor
8. Employment Creation and Welfare
9. International Strategies
10. Conclusion: Toward Global Solidarity
Notes
References
Index

About the Author

Rohini Hensman is a writer and independent scholar based in Bombay. She has published extensively on issues of worker's rights, women's rights, and the rights of minorities and is the coauthor of Beyond Multinationalism: Management Policy and Bargaining Relationships in International Companies.