What the garment workers are saying

Publication Type:



Narendar Pani


The Hindu Business Line (2016)

Other Number:





<p class="rtejustify">Trade unions are doing precious little for women in the workforce, especially young, migrant women The protests by thousands of employees of Bengaluru’s garment export industry last month had all the features usually associated with workers’ agitations, including violence and police firing. On the face of it this would appear to be no more than an unexpected return to the days before the decline of the trade union movement. But such a kneejerk reaction would ignore the more fundamental changes in the concerns of the workers and the nature of their protests. In the pre-liberalisation era workers would rally behind trade unions who would in turn be primarily concerned with issues in the workplace, particularly wages. In contrast, the workers in Benglauru came out on the streets spontaneously, and the issue that provoked them was quite substantially influenced by their lives outside the workplace.</p>