Dynamics of labour relations across different circuits of globalisation: Evidence from garment making and cashew nut processing circuits in Kerala

Kuzhiparambil, Asha (2015) Dynamics of labour relations across different circuits of globalisation: Evidence from garment making and cashew nut processing circuits in Kerala. Doctoral thesis, NIAS.

[img] Text
TH29-AshaKG-2015.pdf - Accepted Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

Download (2MB) | Request a copy
Thesis advisorPani, Narendarnarendar@nias.res.in
Abstract: The cross-border production circuits examine flows of resources (e.g. labour, capital & goods) and value addition across various geographical locations. There is interconnectedness of the agents including consumers, labour and civil society organisations in such networks. The studies have explored the increasing global migratory tendencies and feminisation, rising informalisation and flexibilisation and imposition of labour standards in the global production centres. The scope of such studies is limited to the workplace dimensions of the effects of globalisation. The fragmentation of economic activities across the borders in these global circuits and the implementation of labour standards end within the global factories. However, it has been clear that the changes within the workplace are not independent of the changes happening outside it. Therefore, the dimensions and the effects of globalisation do not end in the first entry points that are the local resource points of the global circuit. It has its secondary consequences. It has implications directly linked to the labour relations in the workplace as well as outside the workplace. For example, the scarcity of labour in one of the resource point can be balanced by temporary internal migration from other surplus regions within the national borders. There can be informal workers with no accountability and monitoring of labour standards from the buyers contributing to the global production circuits. The dynamics of such patterns tend to miss out in the studies on the global production circuits due to the vastness of the field. Hence, the focus ends within the formal workplaces. However, these interconnections need to be explored to develop a more spatially refined analysis of the global circuits. The present study of the local resource points of the global garment and cashew circuit from Kerala is an attempt in this direction. The concept of ‘Secondary Circuit’ is coined to explain the internal resource flows and the productive contribution of such flows to the global circuits. The secondary circuit involves various actors and connects multiple local regions to the global resource points within the nation. The garment industry is known for its feminised workforce. The present resource point of the global garment circuit has presence of internal migrants (from Odisha). The migrant workers are young and unmarried, belongs to BPL family and willing to do overtime in the garment unit. They are mobilised through Gram Panchayat and trained in the stitching operations under the skill development programmes for the poor youth in their villages. Thus, the secondary circuit of the present garment unit is mobilising the workers (who are very young, unemployed, belongs to lower castes and BPL families) through the formalised channels involving agents, like Sarpanch, training centres, monitoring agent, implementation agency and third party certification. The cashew industry also provides employment opportunities to the female workforce. The workers engaged in the cashew processing are from very poor socio-economic backgrounds. The strong presence of social networks of family, friends, caste and organisations (trade unions, caste organisation & self-help groups) are evident during the study. The informal processing network of home-based workers identified reflects the heterogeneity of this sector and the need to examine the nature of such workers. The secondary circuit of informal workers also contributes productively to the global cashew circuit with no accountability and social security in return as a result of its invisibility from the legality. The present study contributes theoretically toward extending the global production circuits/networks within the national borders. The effects of globalisation do not end within the workplace; it has secondary consequences across the local geographical scales. The present study is a step towards linking the larger processes of globalisation with that of the local dimensions. The secondary circuit both formal and informal identified in the study helps understand the practical significance of internal migration, as well as the informal sector workers contribution to the global production circuits.
Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: The thesis was submitted to Manipal University, Manipal.[Year of Award 2015][Thesis No TH19] Asha KG and Asha Kuzhiparambil are the same
Keywords: Cashew Worker, Garment Worker, Global Circuit, Globalisation, Informality, Kerala, Secondary Circuit
Subjects: School of Social Sciences > Economics
Doctoral Programme > Theses
Divisions: Schools > Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 03 May 2016 10:30
Last Modified: 22 Aug 2023 06:34
Official URL:
Related URLs:
    Funders: UNSPECIFIED
    Projects: UNSPECIFIED
    URI: http://eprints.nias.res.in/id/eprint/1065

    Actions (login required)

    View Item View Item