05 October, 2012

Lockouts in India

Lockouts in India

By- Ruddar Datt

This book is perhaps the first attempt to study the menacing problem of lockouts in India which has plagued industries in the last three decades. Besides giving an overview of lockouts from 1961 to 1997, the author has made a special study of lockouts in West Bengal—the state with maximum number of mandays lost due to lockouts in India. He suggests that the causes for lockouts put forward by the Indian government in the Labour Year Book as well as Labour in West Bengal (a publication of the West Bengal government) are not tenable since the data is based on the employer’s perception only. The major causes of lockouts, he suggests are: downsizing of labour and casualization, increasing workload of workers, absence of a long-term perspective by employers, failure to bring about technological upgradation, pre-occupation with short-term profits, inefficient management, inter-family disputes, indiscipline and violence to some extent and cost reduction during periods of low demand.

While employers have succeeded subduing labour by using lockouts, the state has failed to find a durable solution to the underlying problems so that lockouts can be avoided altogether. The study concludes that while the state has tacitly submitted to the employers to earn higher profits by a system of exploitative efficiency, it has failed to provide economic justice to labour.

Ruddar Datt is presently associated with the Institute of Human Development, New Delhi, as a Visiting Professor. Earlier he taught Economics for 35 years at the University of Delhi. He was the President of the Indian Economic Association and Indian Society of Labour Economics in 1991.

ISBN  81-7304-519-4  2003   184p.   Rs.500/Pounds 15

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