Unions, State and Capital in Western India: Structural Determinants of the 1982 Bombay Textile Strike

  • Debashish Bhattacherjee
Part of the Macmillan International Political Economy Series book series (IPES)

Abstract

Between January 1982 and February 1983, 250 000 textile workers from sixty-odd mills in Bombay were on strike. According to one estimate, accounting for dependency rates, more than a million people were directly affected (New York Times, 4 May 1982). What started as a wage and bonus strike in a few mills in late 1981 spread to the entire industry. Plant-level trade union struggles evolved into a unified political struggle against not only textile capital, but more importantly against the state-recognised union nexus forced on to the industry since 1947. The recognised union saw its membership fall by more than half between October 1981 and March 1982 (Business India, 27 September 1982). The strike was costly: a production loss of about 100 million rupees a month, and according to the (then) commerce minister, 58.42 million man-days were lost by August 1983 (Times of India, 10 August 1983).

‘We are the oldest industry. Why should we earn less?’ (a worker from Century Mills)

Keywords

Migration Income Marketing Explosive Stratification 

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Copyright information

© Roger Southall 1988

Authors and Affiliations

  • Debashish Bhattacherjee

There are no affiliations available

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