Working Paper No. 30: "Non-regular workers in India: Social dialogue and organizational and bargaining strategies and practices"

This paper is one of a series of national studies on collective bargaining, social dialogue and non-standard work. Since the adoption of liberalization policies in 1991, the labour market in India has seen tremendous growth in the number of non-regular workers, in particular contract workers. The paper includes a number of examples of trade unions seeking various ways of improving the terms and conditions of work for non-regular workers, particularly contract workers, through collective organization and collective bargaining. The paper shows that a key approach to successful collective bargaining on behalf of contract workers is to ensure the involvement of “principal employers” that hold real power in negotiating and determining terms and conditions of work (multi-employer bargaining).