ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Industrial Relations for Examinees

Collective Bargaining: A Comparative study of Developments in India and other countries by Mary Sur; Asia Publishing House, Bombay, 1965; pp 192, Rs. 18.

When this reviewer comes across a quotation from Sydney and Beatrice Webb on the first page of a book on Indian industrial relations, he faces the following pages with a certain uneasiness. Although on page two, as if to confirm the irrelevance of her quotation on page one, Mrs Sur affirms that "Collective bargaining in nineteenth century Britain was very different from our conception of it today", she spends the first 50odd pages of her 141 pages of text providing us with the details of collective bargaining in the theory and practice of the industrially advanced countries of the West.

It seems to me that such an approach to Indian industrial relations is basically fruitless. Industrial relations in India and the other underdeveloped countries have a nature of their own that is quite different from the experience of industrial relations in Western countries. The major differences are fairly obvious. The bargaining position of the working class is extremely weak due to their poverty their lack of sophistication in the ways of the industrial world, and mass unemployment. The experience of the American working class which is highly skilled and economically strong offers very little from which Indian workers can learn. The reasons why collective bargaining was able to develop satisfactorily in America are simply not present in India.

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