Chapter

The Cost of Incorporation: Labor Institutions, Industrial Restructuring, and New Trade Union Strategies in India and Pakistan

Christopher Candland

in The Politics of Labor in a Global Age

Published in print September 2001 | ISBN: 9780199241149
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191598920 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0199241147.003.0003
 The Cost of Incorporation: Labor Institutions, Industrial Restructuring, and New Trade Union Strategies in India and Pakistan

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In India, an impressive labour movement based on political unionism developed and exercised some influence over economic policy. In Pakistan, an assertive and often militant workers’ movement emerged, was severely repressed, and exercised little influence over economic policy. The paper assesses the ability of trade unions in each country to oppose recent economic reforms, specifically the privatization efforts of each government. The capacity to oppose industrial restructuring is traced to the differing structure of labour institutions, specifically trade union relationships with political parties and workers’ representation in trade unions. In conclusion, the paper draws from a debate within the Indian trade union movement concerning the limitations of political unionism and the need for new union strategies. It suggests that a new unionism, with wider networks among other social organizations and deeper roots in local communities, must also include a new political dimension.

Keywords: economic reform; India; labour institutions; labour movement; Pakistan; political parties; privatization; social organizations; trade unions

Chapter.  10834 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Comparative Politics

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