Democracy and Demands
Parimal Maya Sudhakar
INFORMAL LABOUR, FORMAL POLITICS, AND DIGNIFIED DISCONTENT IN INDIA by Rina Agarwala Cambridge University Press, New Delhi, 2015, 250 pp., $29.95
April 2015, volume 39, No 4

Will there be workers organizing in neo-liberal times? Yes, workers will be organizing in a new liberal fashion! Rina Agarwala’s book Informal Labour, Formal Politics, and Dignified Discontent in India suggests that workers in the informal sector in India are successfully negotiating their livelihood demands taking advantage of intensely competitive politics particularly at the State level. As India ushered in the neo-liberal economic age in 1991, the trade union movement went into self-imposed siege in the formal sector. The formal sector came under intense threat of transforming into informalization as a result of neo-liberal economic policies. Hence, the trade unions have to concentrate most of their time and energies to save their forts.

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