Estimating the Probability of Trade Union Membership in India – Impact of Communist Parties, Personal Attributes and Industrial Characteristics

Rupayan Pal
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The paper analyses the impact of the reach of communist parties, the degree of political
activism, personal attributes of workers, and industrial characteristics on the individual
decision to unionise for Indian non-agricultural regular workers using micro data from the
2004-05 Employment and Unemployment Survey, NSSO, linked to state-level factors. A
notable result is that the reach of communist parties has considerable effect on unionisation
probability. Moreover, it seems that mere existence of communist parties in a state also
facilitates unionisation to some extent. State-level political activism and unemployment rate
also influence the individual decision to be unionist. The paper concludes also that workers
gender, marital status, ethnic background, employment status, experience, occupation, sector
of employment, establishment size, and type of industry remain important in the
determination of union membership.