chapter  4
19 Pages

The decline of collective action

Two weeks after Suchir and I arrived in Jamshedpur, I was introduced to Tata Workers’ Union (TWU) president, R. B. B. Singh. I had first visited the union’s offices in Bistupur earlier that week, where I received a pleasant reception from the director of the union’s resource centre, S. Chatterjee.1 I arrived at the building armed with a general desire to learn more about the organisation, and found S. Chatterjee to be an obliging host. He was generous with his time, spoke freely and at length about the organisation where he worked, and was delighted that the union remained an object of interest to social scientists. After furnishing me with me a tour of the building and a thick bundle of pamphlets, S. Chatterjee kindly offered to drive me home on his motorcycle. Parked outside my apartment building, the two of us drank a quick cup of Chai as he wished me luck for the research. Before he left to return to the TWU offices, he invited me to come and speak with him again.