Sunday, July 31, 2005

Labour dynamics

The Hindu Business Line editorial:

    The industry is today at a point where it has begun even to question the very rationale for workers to organise themselves into collective units, and some constituents have gone to the extent of actually thwarting efforts by the labour to do so. From a larger stakeholder perspective, that would be a folly. There may be occasions when labour representatives over-reach themselves out of a misguided sense of their importance or even out of venality. But the answer to that lies in setting up more channels of communication with labour rather than undermining the traditional trade union movement, however much it is perceived as an anachronism.
This approach makes more sense to me than most of what I get to see on the net. Definitely I prefer this to a friend's attitude: [Datta Samant] was shot dead eventually, but it was too late.

Here's an article by P Sainath on the Gurgaon episode.


At 1:16 AM, Blogger Dilip D'Souza said...

Like Datta Samant or not (and I didn't), that's a bizarre attitude. It shows no understanding of labour in this country, nor of this country itself.

I think Sainath's is a splendid article. Undoubtedly unions have got a bad name, often for good reason, but that doesn't take away from 1) all they have achieved, and 2) the quiet unions that are working hard and sincerely still for their members' rights.

At 2:29 AM, Blogger Anand said...

I must say that I'm not a great admirer of Datta Samant either.

You have put it well Dilip. I've seen lives of ordinary workers improving because they have fought for their rights. I've also seen mindless unionism tampering activities of specific institutions. What I can't agree with is, like you, taking away the right to collectively fight for one's basic rights.

A financial newspaper also saw the need to stress the point that one shouldn't be undermining the traditional trade union movement, and that's good!

At 8:25 AM, Blogger Sunil said...

Sainath is such a fantastic writer....the detail and consistency of his writing is remarkable. I often wish mainstream media had more writers like Sainath.Unfortunately, too many people form opinions without the rigorous reasoning that the issues require, and an unwillingness to look at both sides of the coin.

At 9:13 PM, Anonymous Anand said...

Sunil, Yes. I consider Siddharth Varadarajan one of our best too.

At 9:39 PM, Blogger Dilip D'Souza said...

Hey Sunil, give some credit to at least some of us who have been inspired by Sainath!

Actually I think there are plenty of writers like him. I'm thinking of Lyla Bavadam, Dionne Bunsha, Annie Zaidi, Kalpana Sharma, Meena Menon, Sankarshan Thakur... (hmm, I seem to think I've put together this list before!).

At 10:37 PM, Blogger Anand said...

Dilip -- I remember you stressing this point once before. But how much media space these writers actually get? (I do read Kalpana Sharma's Sunday Hindu columns.)


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