This paper identifies the channels and processes which have increased the vulnerability of employment in the organised manufacturing sector. It explores the exemptions from specific labour regulations accorded to particular activities and locates the anti-labour positions in the arbitration mechanisms under the state and judicial reinterpretations of existing laws. The popular discourse on labour regulation in India has been arguing in favour of labour market flexibility and doing away with restrictive labour legislation since it believes that labour laws hamper investment and growth of employment. This paper points to the increasing tendency of the Indian state to circumvent the gamut of existing labour laws, which in any case exist more on paper than in practice, by disengaging from the popular discourse on labour reforms and instead engaging in seemingly harmless norms of voluntary action and corporate social responsibility to facilitate accumulation.

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