Democracy at Work in an Indian Industrial Cooperative: The Story of Kerala Dinesh Beedi
Cornell University Press, 1998 - Business & Economics - 255 pages
The authors tell the story of a democratic workers' cooperative that makes hand-rolled cigarettes, known as "beedis," in the unorganized sector of a fiercely competitive capitalist economy in India. For decades, beedi workers have been among the most exploited and impoverished of India's work force. In 1969, in the southwestern Indian state of Kerala, several thousand workers banded together to form a worker-owned beedi cooperative. The authors argue that their skill and determination, combined with Kerala's generally leftist political culture, allowed them to beat the odds. The cooperative surprised the private sector beedi barons by creating an enterprise that has lasted and prospered, offering the best wages and benefits in the business, while making a profit and contributing to the local economy.The authors analyze the major features of the cooperative, assessing its overall structure, worker-elected management, shop floor democracy, and progress in providing a better life for its worker-owners. Tensions are also discussed, including the complaints of women workers and the need for diversification from tobacco.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
A. K. Gopalan average Badagara Bediaduka Beedi Cooperative beedi firms beedi industry beedi rollers Beedi Thozhilali beedi workers beedis per day beedis produced capitalist centers central cooperative Chala committee coop cooperative's correlation dearness allowance democratic director board members efficiency elected employers experience Ezhavas factories female Ganesh income India Kannan Kannur city Kannur district Kannur town Kasargod KDB workers KDB's KDBWCCS Kerala Dinesh Beedi Kerala Model labor leaf outturn maistries major Malabar Mangalore Mathrubhumi ment million movement Muslim number of beedis organization output Panikkar participation Payyanur Payyanur Primary Society percent percentage political primary cooperatives primary society problem production workers putting-out system Raghavan raw materials role roll beedis rupees secretary sector skills social socialist society director board staff strike structure struggle surplus Tellicherry Thottada tion tive Tiyya Tobacco Workers trade unions union activists union leaders women workers worker-owned workforce workplace democracy wrapper leaves