The introductory chapter begins by providing the broad setting for the book by highlighting the point that the pressures put on labour by globalization have led to the prevalence of precarious forms of labour such as the contract labour system (referred to as agency work sometimes). After briefly describing the history and the wide-ranging extent of the contract labour system in India, the chapter proceeds to describe the contents of the ensuing chapters and bring to the fore the central concerns tackled by the book. These concerns include the evaluation of prevailing law and public policy related to contract labour as well as an assessment of whether labour market flexibility has helped the production process, industry and workers of India. Furthermore, we note that the book explores whether collective bargaining is a viable advocacy tool for contract workers leading to the central policy question addressed at the end of the book as to how to device labour laws and policy that both give employers sufficient flexibility but also provides a voice to workers.
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