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Patrick Belser and Uma Rani

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Uma Rani and Ratna Sen

India has experienced an impressive annual growth rate of nearly 7 per cent since the mid-1990s. Yet this has not led to improvements in the quality of employment and the proportion of low-paid workers has increased over the decade to 2012 along with increasing inequality. The period has also seen an increase in informalization of industrial labour in India associated with greater use of subcontracting and contractual and temporary workers. This chapter assesses the role of industrial relations institutions in improving productivity, wages and incomes for workers. At the same time, it shows that collective bargaining has remained limited in scope and restricted to the formal sector. While there have been some attempts to reach out to workers in the informal sector, these have focused on securing basic welfare rights. The chapter examines emerging labour relations institutions that are delivering improvements to informal workers. It argues that to be more inclusive, the organizational basis for collective labour relations needs to be strengthened, drawing on new forms of voice in the informal sector.