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Democracy at Work in an Indian Industrial Cooperative: The Story of Kerala Dinesh Beedi - Cornell International Industrial and Labor Relations Reports (Paperback)
  • Democracy at Work in an Indian Industrial Cooperative: The Story of Kerala Dinesh Beedi - Cornell International Industrial and Labor Relations Reports (Paperback)
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Democracy at Work in an Indian Industrial Cooperative: The Story of Kerala Dinesh Beedi - Cornell International Industrial and Labor Relations Reports (Paperback)

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£26.99
Paperback 272 Pages / Published: 15/06/1998
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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.

Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801484155
Number of pages: 272
Weight: 397 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

"An impressive piece of anthropology, comparative politics, economic history, and labor relations.... An inspiring story, movingly recounted."

* Journal of Comparative Economics *

"The book is very well written and offers a scholarly treatise on the rise, growth and development of a workers' co-operative. The quality of the book is enhanced by examining the accomplishments of the KDB against a backdrop of the international literature and experience in worker co-operatives. The book must find a place in all libraries of all types of institutions (including trade unions), serious academicians and managers of co-operatives."

-- B. R. Patil * Journal of Industrial Relations *

"The story of KDB is extremely well told in this book, which manages to combine scholarly depth and empirical rigor with an accessible style and provocative discussions of very basic issues.... KDB is a remarkable phenomenon, one well worth visiting and revisiting if only in print; it deserved a remarkable book, such as this one, to convey its story and assess its implications. In many ways, the authors have produced a book which should serve as a standard for further research into worker cooperatives, and a book which does great credit to the cooperators at KDB... If you care about worker co-ops and worker democracy, put this book at the top of your 'not to be missed' list!"

* Grassroots Economic Organizing Newsletter *

"A fascinating account of a unique experience in cooperative production.... A well-written book that combines descriptive statistics with interview material to tell Kerala Dinesh Beedi's engrossing story. It is recommended reading for any person interested in the concept of cooperative work."

* The Hindu, India's National Magazine *

"Convincing and intellectually stimulating.... An excellent portrayal of the history of a successful workers' cooperative.... Based on exhaustive empirical and painstaking field work."

* Bulletin of Concerned Asian Scholars *

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