Is social partnership the way forward for Indian trade unions? Evidence from public services in India


Trade unions in India find themselves excluded from the political process and marginalized in collective bargaining in the post economic reforms period since 1991. Influential policy analysts and academics alike have called upon Indian trade unions to engage in social partnership with employers as a route to regain influence and protect workers’ interests. Using survey and interview data from two large national trade union federations in Maharashtra India, this article examines whether social partnership is a viable option for Indian trade unions as an industrial relations approach. Findings indicate that despite a supportive labour regulatory framework which in theory should facilitate cooperative industrial relations, the ground realities of workplace employment relations coupled with state indifference and judicial interventions weakens labour’s prospects for meaningful social partnership.

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Divisions: College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School
College of Business and Social Sciences > Aston Business School > Work & Organisational Psychology
Additional Information: This is the peer reviewed version of the following article: Badigannavar, V. (2016). Is social partnership the way forward for Indian Trade Unions? Evidence from public services in India. International Labour Review, Early online, which has been published in final form at This article may be used for non-commercial purposes in accordance with Wiley Terms and Conditions for Self-Archiving.
Publication ISSN: 1564-913X
Last Modified: 08 Dec 2023 10:07
Date Deposited: 08 Sep 2016 10:10
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Related URLs: http://onlineli ... /ilr.12028/full (Publisher URL)
PURE Output Type: Article
Published Date: 2017-12-01
Published Online Date: 2016-09-12
Accepted Date: 2016-08-12
Authors: Badigannavar, Vidu (ORCID Profile 0000-0002-8421-3614)



Version: Accepted Version

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