Emergence of IT & ITES – Effect on the Labour Laws

 Emergence of IT & ITES – Effect on the Labour Laws

  

India’s emergence as the 4th largest economy as also a contender for a seat in the UN Security Council is the result of the high pace of economic development that it has  sslcnow.com achieved in the current phase of liberalisation. In the course of fifteen years, India has come to be acknowledged as the IT hub-centre, supplier of skilled workforce to the world, etc. It has also regained its position as the spokes nation of the developing world. On the other hand, India is poorly placed in terms of human development index. The development of social capital is inadequate and worst is its access, as it remains confined to urban areas and to rural elite. For majority of population, more so those who earlier constituted part of the Organised Sector workforce, the emerging conditions can’t be worse. The informalisation of work, skill obsoleteness, absence of any formal social security has left them in a state of desperation.

The direct affect of informalisation has been deterioration in respect for labour rights. The provisions of large number of labour laws remain non-enforced. The adherence to the core labour standards remains good in paper only. The desire to get more FDI and pressure from the MNCs have caused the government to overlook violations. Further the trade unions are divided on political lines. There are however, increased activities among non-mainstream labour organisations, but then they are not influential on the policy-making levels. The declining size of workforce in the organised sector, with dwindling support from the government against an aggressive employers have further enlarged the size of workforce that is not in receipt of benefits of legislative protection as also of government’s labour welfare policies.

The available discussions in the ITES-BPO sector in India strongly suggest that the sector is characterised by some degree of `representation insecurity’ or `voice-insecurity’. Near absence of trade unions or similar organisations in the sector, till recently, is reflective of this aspect. Striking absence of collective bargaining and social dialogue institutions, dismal scenario labour law implementation and a strong inclination of the firms towards managing industrial relations on an individual basis, technologically aided surveillance mechanisms and so on cumulatively led to a situation, where the industry is characterised with totalisation of labour control or the `end of employee voice’.

The dismal profile of trade union activities in the outsourcing sector of India, during the early phase of the industry, could be due to a host of reasons, which include unique profile of the workforce engaged in the sector, atypical nature of work and work organisation, mobile nature of work and high rates of turnover of the industry. Issues related to the newness of occupations in the sector (and thus, lack of experience of stakeholders in tackling the issues) and so on. Some of

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