Union Activity (union + activity)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

Impact of Migration on Kerala's Economy and Society

K.C. Zachariah
This article reports results of the first migration study covering the entire State of Kerala. It encompasses both measurement as well as analysis of the various types and facets of migration. Migration has been the single most dynamic factor in an otherwise dreary development scenario in Kerala during the last quarter of the twentieth century. Kerala is approaching the end of the millennium with a little cheer in many people's homes as a result of migration which has contributed more to poverty alleviation than any other factor, including agrarian reforms, trade union activities and social welfare legislation. The study shows that nearly 1.5 million Keralites now live outside India. They send home more than Rs.4,000 million a year by way of remittances. Three-quarters of a million former emigrants have come back. They live mostly on savings, work experience, and skills acquired while abroad. More than a million families depend on an internal migrant's earnings for subsistence, children's education and other economic requirements. Whereas the educationally backward Muslims from the Thrissur-Malappuram region provide the backbone of emigration, it is the educationally forward Ezhawas, Nairs and Syrian Christians from the former Travancore-Cochin State who form the core of internal migration. The article also analyses the determinants and consequences of internal and external migration. It offers suggestions for policy formulation directed at optimum utilization of remittances sent home by emigrants and the expertise brought back by the return migrants. Migration in Kerala began with demographic expansion, but it will not end up with demographic contraction. Kerala has still to develop into an internally self-sustaining economy. The prevailing cultural milieu in which its people believe that anything can be achieved through agitation, and any rule can be circumvented with proper political connections, must change and be replaced by a liberalized open economy with strict and definite rules of the game. [source]

Employer responses to union organising: patterns and effects

Edmund Heery
This article presents original research on employer responses to trade union organising campaigns in the United Kingdom. The evidence indicates that there is no single response, with employers in some cases seeking to block and in others support union activity. These different patterns are strongly path dependent and reflect the prior degree of exposure to trade unionism of workplaces targeted for organising. Another finding is that employer responses co-vary with union approaches to organising, such that when the employer adopts adversarial tactics so does the union. The militancy of both parties, it seems, is mutually reinforcing. Finally, the evidence points to substantial influence of employer responses over the outcomes of organising. When employers are supportive then campaigns tend to be more successful, measured on a range of criteria. When the employer is hostile unions find it difficult to make progress and encounter particular difficulties in securing recognition. [source]

United by a Common Language?

ANTIPODE, Issue 1 2008
India to Call Centre Offshoring, Trade Union Responses in the UK
Abstract:, The offshoring of business processes from the global North to low-cost countries of the global South has grown spectacularly in the current decade. Self-evidently, transnational relocation presents considerable challenges for organised labour since it suggests both a ,race to the bottom' in respect of pay, conditions and workers' rights and wholesale redundancies in the developed economies. This paper examines the specific case of the migration of call centres from the UK to India and trade union responses in both geographies. Informed by theoretical developments, insights and evidence from diverse disciplines and literatures, the authors concur particularly with Herod's conviction that union strategies to counter TNCs should not be counterposed between ,organising globally' and ,organising locally'and that ,organising at both scales simultaneously may best serve their goals'. Following reflection upon the nature of the call centre and consideration of important contradictions in the offshoring process, we present evidence of UK union responses ranging from the nationalistic, even xenophobic, to the internationalsist, and conclude that membership mobilisation on a principled basis has been key to the limited successes unions have achieved. The paper also evaluates developments in India and the emergence of an embryonic organisation UNITES which is attempting to organise its call centre and business process outsourcing (BPO) workforce. We conclude by considering the gap between the potential and the reality of effective internationally co-ordinated union activity. [source]

Workers' Participation in Decision,Making Processes and Firm Stability

Shlomo Mizrahi
This paper argues that firm efficiency and stability, as well as workers' satisfaction, can be achieved through participatory decision,making rules. It offers theoretical rationales and empirical illustrations based on the framing and operation of European works councils. Employees should take part in establishing the rules; otherwise managers will make rules that allow them to retain control of the key points in the decision,making process. In constructing such rules the involvement of unions is required; however, once rules are set union activity becomes marginal. Government intervention remains marginal throughout. [source]