Watch the full video (above) of the CPR- Centre for Science and Humanities (CSH) Workshop on 'Ethnic wage-welfare complex: Migrants, trade unions and the labour market in the city of Kochi', featuring Mythri Prasad-Aleyamma.
By examining the wages of migrant workers and local unionised labour in the city of Kochi and adjacent towns in Kerala, the paper demonstrates that ‘wage’ embodies practices and processes. It details the labour practices in a port-building site and in urban spot labour markets for construction work. Wages of local workers and that of migrant workers differ not only in terms of quantity, but also in terms of the processes and practices that surround them. These differences are viewed through the lens of cultural politics and spatial differentiation. We do not know much about the historical formation of wages and of the meanings attributed to them by workers in South Asia. The paper is an attempt to begin a conversation around wage practices in the region and the ideological formation of skill and work.
Mythri Prasad-Aleyamma is an associate fellow at the Institute for Human Development, Delhi. Her research interests primarily revolve around migration and urban transformation in contemporary India.