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Labour Controls, Unfreedom and Perpetuation of Slavery on a Tea Plantation

Khandakar, Shahadat and Uddin, Shahzad (2021) 'Labour Controls, Unfreedom and Perpetuation of Slavery on a Tea Plantation.' Work, Employment and Society. ISSN 0950-0170

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Abstract

This article examines labour controls in traditional tea plantations in Bangladesh. This study finds how social and economic exclusion through discriminatory labour laws and labour–manager relations rooted in the ‘coolie’ system have built a captive workforce separated from the mainstream workforce. This ultimately produces and reproduces slavery-laden labour controls. An opaque but punitive incentive system, sunset-sunrise working hours, maximum engagement, and the restrictions of promotion to managerial posts are constant reminders of the historically rooted indentured labour system. This article contributes to understanding modern slavery in an organisational context and the obstacles that prevent ‘free’ labourers from walking away from exploitative conditions. Organisational sites such as tea plantations present clear examples of how specific types of labour control restrict freedom of choice and produce ‘willing slaves’.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Labour control, unfreedom, slavery, Bangladesh, tea plantation
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School
Faculty of Social Sciences > Essex Business School > Essex Accounting Centre
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 01 Sep 2021 12:10
Last Modified: 01 Sep 2021 12:10
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/30276

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