Tuesday, March 15, 2011

[ZESTCaste] from CSR to just corporatship


Dear freinds
(in publishaletter.com)

Preparing as an Independent Researcher for a National Convention on Bonded labour, Migrant labor, Construction Workers and Domestic Workers organised by the National Campaign Committee for Construction Labour, Unorganized Workers and Unorganised Workers Federation, I read the 11th five year plan chapter of India on Labour and Employment. I realized that the share of unorganised workers was increasing in the country-with more females being in the unorganised sector.

Both public and private sector were hiring and firing the lower end workers- entering into contracts. They were not protected by labour laws, and not eligible for increments leave, social protection etc. Further, I learnt that land was being acquired by companies on the name of serving public good but creating little secure employment. Worse, some were making money out of technologies that could be used for sex selection of males. Others were keeping people in bondage. Still others had outsourced work to home based workers, where border line is thin between child labour and adult labour. At the pits are venture capital and Initial public offers being used by Non Banking Financing Companies. Are poor women a ground for investment? Why is share of construction to GDP growing leaps and bounds but the growth in wages is minimal?

What is the point of Corporate Social Responsibility if the path of making profits is based on exploiting the labour of poor, women, dalits, adivasis, children and Muslims. I think one should revisit Andre Gunder Frank Theories of Development and underdevelopment - that profits are being made by making poor poorer. Within this paradigm women's work is valued the least.

Let us move towards Just Corporatship- abide by labour laws, see ways of enabling poor to benefit out of growth in services and industries and STOP appopriating agriculture land, coasts, forests which belong to the poor. IF THIS PATH IS FOLLOWED, THERE WILL BE NO LABOURERS LEFT FOR MANUAL WORK. AND CORPORATES WOULD HAVE TO PAY THE PRICE

Ranjani K.Murthy

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