Review of the article“Precariats in India: Globalization and Changing Employment Relations” by Shalu Nigam
The article that is being review in this report is“Precariats in India: Globalization and Changing Employment Relations” written by Dr. Shalu Nigam who is herself a precariat working in a developing third world country. Hence most of the accounts and thoughts presented in this article reflect her thoughts and experiences. This article focuses on the current and past situation of precariats, the part time, contractually hired workers and labor, in India both before and after the attainment of independence. Further it discusses the issues and insecurities that precariats face due to this nature of their employment and how they are being utilized and exploited by the wealthy and influential people for the maximization of their revenues and profits thereby further broadening inequality among the two classes of the society. It also throws light on the issues which are being caused by the globalization of societies and economies and that are further accelerating these problems being faced by precariats. Also the impact of automation has been discussed and how it has led to the downfall of precariat labor rights. It has also been discussed that the privatization in India is another factor that has led to the detriment of the rights of the labors.
The article reflects the current and past situation of labor in the country of India and how it has worsened due to both the government decisions and the external factors such as globalization and development of technology. The author states that the government has changed the labor laws by a huge degree to make it favorable for the organizations, operating in the manufacturing and other sort of industries, to grow and hence to provide a boost to the economy of the country, however, in doing so the well-being of the labor, and their rights have been neglected by these agencies. This has been the same in the past and this inequality existed since even before the independence of India from British rule. The hiring of the employees on short term contracts provides the elite class people with opportunity to waive their obligations toward the right of these employees and so these employees are denied their basic rights. Globalization is further worsening the situation. Author has described this as a weapon and tool that has been employed by the affluent people of the world over the middle and lower class population, which is the majority of the world, in order to control them and attain maximum gain out of their use. The author has then described in the article what precariats are, the factors due to which the precariat population is increasing as well as the causes due to which precariats are facing problems such as job insecurity, the need to constantly look for job, etc. The author in the final parts of the article has then debated over how the current outlook will improve in the future and the possible benefits that precariats will gain in the future due to the awareness being created in the new generation regarding these inequalities. The writer has urged the precariats to unite together and raise their voice against this ill treatment.
The author, Shalu Nigam, has provided a detailed insight regarding the factors that are changing the current employment outlook of India and how globalization has worsened the situation for the precariats. She has also highlighted the issues that these people face as a result of the inequalities that are being made inherent in such sort of employment.
One particular aspect that has been emphasized by Shalu Nigam is the role of globalization in worsening the already bad shape of the labor market of India. She stated that due to globalization, competition has increased which has in turn magnified the need to increase efficiency by improving productivity and reducing costs. As a result, businesses are neglecting the contractual rights of the employers by hiring them on part time basis. Also to maintain efficiency, businesses need to make their production processes leaner and more cost friendly and as a result a number of people have lost their jobs are being made redundant due to this de-layering of operations. This is somewhat true as can be seen through the real life examples and the mass of literature that reflects the same thoughts and ideas however the author is only focusing on one side of the picture. The rest of the impacts, particularly positive ones, have been neglected by Shalu Nigam and so her ideas and experiences are true yet somewhat restricted. The fact is that globalization has also opened India’s doors to foreign investment as a number of different global companies are now looking towards India as a valuable site to operate in (Sople, 2012) due to which the Indian people will find it easier to find a job and improve their living standards. According to Schaeffer (2005), India has a vast portion of its total population that is unemployed. However this labor is skilled and fluent in English and so can easily work in technical jobs as well. This will be specifically beneficial for these people as they can easily obtain job in the foreign countries that are operating or will operate in the country. Also globalization will provide greater opportunities to the people of India to become self-employed (Arum& Müller, 2004) that will help them in gaining more stability and a chance for further future growth that India currently is lacking at that moment. Further, according to Ramanuj Ganguly (2010), globalization has not only provided greater opportunities to the employees to work in a reputable organization but also the average wages of unskilled and semi skilled labor has increased as well resulting in lower income inequality. Also Indian goods will be more demanded in the foreign countries due to cheaper prices which will further increase the activity level of the Indian companies resulting in the need to hire more people to keep up with the increased demand resolving the issue of unemployment further. The standard of living of the Indian people will also increase as a result. Also the views of Pravin Durai (2010) contradict with those presented by Shalu Nigam that some of the Indian organizations have realized that technology alone is not enough to prosper but they need proper human resources to grow and survive. It is further stated that a lot of multinational companies that have made their way into India as a result of globalization have brought in new and improved human resource policies. These policies have influenced the native Indian companies as well who have increased the benefits being provided to employees that match those of the international companies in order to retain their employees.
Another key argument that has been presented by Shalu Nigam is the issues caused by the act of privatization by the government of India. She stated that by doing so, the government lost the monopoly in the sector that it previously had and the power was transferred to private individuals which negatively influence upon the rights of the employees particularly the precariat ones who will further lose their rights. Also the risk of losing jobs for these people will increase as a result. The working conditions for these employees will further worsen according to Shalu Nigam. These employees have retaliated in a hostile manner against this injustice due to the anger and frustration they have against the current condition and situations. The changing economy of India as well as the working practices is changing the current employment structure and workplace relationship and so overall there is an increased risks and vulnerabilities that employees in India are facing due to the privatization process. However, no matter how valid it seems logically and due to the references and accounts provided by Shalu Nigam, this again is restricted to only one perspective or outcome of the process. There are some positive outcomes out of the situation as well even for the precariats such as greater employment opportunities and a chance to become permanent employee. The view of Pradip Baijal (2008)contradicts the view provided by Shalu Nigam. He states that privatization has promoted the working conditions of the labor and has somewhat mitigated the risk of loss of job in the long run. Thus unlike the view presented by Shalu Nigam, this suggests that privatization has in fact improved the job security of the employees in India and it can be safely assumed that precariats will be among these employees. Although it may be argued that this was presented in 2008 before the global crisis that is even then if the strategy has helped the people of India in the past then same can be expected to happen again. Also this proves that people of India are familiar to the concept of privatization and will find it easy to adapt to the changes brought upon by it. Another contradicting view is provided by G. Ganesh (2001) in his book“Privatisation in India” that although employees will have to adapt to the working practice changes brought upon by the privatization and bear greater risks and uncertainties of losing their job however in the long run, those remaining under employment can receive several benefits such as exposure to state of the art technology and new practices that are more effective. Employees will also be able to work with greater efficiency and learn new skills that will be beneficial for them as well as the company in the long run. This will increase the worth of these employees as well as employees with such skills will be more demanded among the employers. Thus in the long run, privatization is bound to provide some great benefits as well. Professional assignment writing
The review article written by Shalu Nigam provides a great insight regarding the precariat situation around the world especially in third world countries such as India. In the article she has broadly explained the concerns and issues faced by precariats in their normal routine work as well as how they are being exploited for the gain of few affluent people. Not only has she listed the factors that are giving rise to the increasing precariat population but also how these factors are influencing the lives of the population of precariats. Thus the article has been written with a balanced approach while keeping both the causes and their after effects in mind which answers almost all the questions that come in the mind of the reader while reading the article. Some may argue that most of the account provided by Shalu Nigam are her personal experiences and so are questionable in terms of reliability however even if this is true, she has provided enough references and accounts of other authors to back these accounts of hers. Students can gain great knowledge through this article regarding the precariat situation. Also this article provides enough knowledge to enable them to build their ideas and academic perspectives based on the reading. However it should also be kept in mind while reading the article that it provides a limited account and consequences of the contractual work practices. Mainly negative impacts have been discussed in the article and no light has been thrown over the positive influences that the factors such as globalization and privatization are bringing upon the workforce. Therefore it is recommended to consult work of other authors as well along with Shalu Nigam’s to gain knowledge about the complete picture of the topic.
Personally, I enjoyed reading the article and found it quite useful in understanding the problems that workforce especially precariats are facing in the third world countries that I was previously unaware of. Though even after being satisfied by the information provided in the article, I found it quite fragmented and it seemed to lack the flow that is quite needed for such a topic. Also I found view of other authors contradicting to that of Shalu Nigam’s which implies that there are a lot of points that have been neglected in the article. However in spite of this, this article is quite a good read that provides adequate information about negative influences of global and other factors on precariats population.