Tech Worker Unions in India

Rianka Roy of the Department of Sociology, University of Connecticut, USA contributes a new article for JCA. The abstract for “Politics Through Precarity: Tech Workers’ Unions in India During the Covid-19 Pandemic” (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2022.2110925) states:

The Indian technology industry is an economic asset for the State. Successive governments and corporations identify tech workers as privileged and their mobilisation as unnecessary. High-skilled tech workers are apparently different from non-tech workers and remain secluded from politics. Tech workers’ trade unions, however, can decisively subvert these claims. From three tech unions’ Facebook posts in 2020, the first COVID-19 year, this study finds that politics remains central to their discourses. Even though tech workers are understood to be “apolitical,” their trade unions have been interacting with political institutions, ministers, bureaucrats, and other non-tech trade union organisers. Some of these tech unions are even affiliated to political parties. The article also identifies some explicit similarities between the unions of tech and non-tech workers in India, and politicised labour movements worldwide. The continuing precarity of unemployment, overwork, and drastic pay cuts that peaked during the pandemic has exposed the tenuous structures of white-collar privilege. By affecting workers in all industries, oppressive neoliberal forces have ironically paved the way for labour solidarity through political resistance.

 

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