South Asia

Organized Panel Session

3 - Who Is a Worker? An Historical Exploration of Debates Around the Legal Definition of a 'Worker' in the Indian Context

Friday, July 6
12:10 PM - 1:40 PM
Location: Kadamba, Lower Ground Floor

This paper explores the debates around the definitions of the terms 'worker' and 'employee' in labor legislation as it evolved in the decades around independence. The debates or struggles over these definitions happened in the legislature, in courtrooms, industrial tribunals, in the print media and on the streets. The outcome of these struggles directly affected the recognition (or not) of workers as 'workers', their visibility, and access to legal rights and protection. In this, it played an active role in shaping the structure of the economy and the labor force in the long term. This paper analyses the role played by different power structures (that of the state, caste, class, and gender for example) and collective mobilization (by workers or owners for example) in influencing the outcome of these debates.


 

Karuna Dietrich

University of Oxford, United Kingdom

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3 - Who Is a Worker? An Historical Exploration of Debates Around the Legal Definition of a 'Worker' in the Indian Context



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