The Political Management of Industrial Conflict
This introductory chapter provides an overview of the book's main themes. This book demonstrates how the political exclusion and repression of organized labor is a highly ineffective strategy for managing industrial unrest. Repressive legislation erodes worker confidence in the state and collective bargaining, thereby making its institutions less effective at resolving the types of workplace tensions that lead to wildcat strikes and violent acts of desperation. The book develops new arguments about the political management of industrial protest by drawing on data from the private manufacturing sector in South Asia where, over the course of the past three decades, economic reforms have increasingly placed the objectives of union leaders and party leaders at odds. The remainder of the chapter discusses two aspects of political democracy that are critical to the effective management of industrial conflict—political competition and the provision of freedom of association and collective bargaining (FACB) rights. It also details the case selection, data, and methods used in the present study.
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