Organizing ‘Spaces of Hope’: Union Formation by Indian Garment Workers


  • Jean Jenkins

  • Jean Jenkins is at Cardiff University.


This article concerns union formation among female garment workers in Bangalore, in the southern state of Karnataka, India. It analyses a case where a category of workers dismissed by established national unions as impossible to organize came to form their own women's movement and thence their own union. The case highlights the crucial role of a sustained, flexible approach towards organizing at the micro level, in the mobilization of vulnerable workers employed in highly competitive labour markets.