Proletariat to Precariat: The Changing Nature of Tea Workers of North Bengal

The tea industry is a labour-intensive industry. The distinct form of production relation in the tea industry not only established itself but also established a social system for the tea workers (Bhowmik 1980). The tea industry has reproduced poverty and disadvantage position for workers generation after generation and succeeded in perpetuating a downward spiral. (Gothoska 2012). After trade liberalisation and introduction of globalisation in tea business, the surplus labour force in tea industry were left with limited work and no other resources. This surplus labour force is absorbed in different areas as precarious labour. The paper tries to explore different aspects of precariousness of tea workers and how the tea industry is acting as a reservoir for such precariat.