Understanding â€˜Crisesâ€™ in a Traditional Industry: Case of Coir in Kerala
The paper attempts to critically analyse the issues that are an offshoot of the open market regime pursued in the industry. Intense competition between exporters for developed country suppliers along with imperfections in the factor markets has resulted in the downward pressure on producer prices. Price liberalization in the presence of distorted factor markets have not improved the lot of poor and marginal workers, despite high foreign and domestic demand as production is increasingly being reorganized into small-scale, decentralized and more flexible economic units using a flexible labour force. The coir industry which traditionally employed permanent unionized workers who received a certain level of social protection is being transformed into a reserve pool of flexible unprotected workers.
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