Lockouts in the factories of West Bengal continue to play havoc while the plight of workers of locked-out factories remains largely ignored. It is necessary to zoom in on the state of being of these "de-skilled" workers, on the changes in their lives, purchasing power and livelihood and assess the impact of factory lockouts on the urban space these workers once occupied. Conversely capital, instinctively moving from manufacturing sector to real estate business is, coupled with demands for new housing, triggering dismantling of industrial units on the plea of sickness, leading to thousands of jobless, unprotected workers. This study primarily aims at closely inspecting this synergistic relation between closing down of factories and urban space. It will also study the extent of rehabilitation or self-employment and trace its impact on the surrounding urban infrastructure like markets, schools, tea shops and trading points; observe and analyse the effect of closure on the non-worker section of this urban space; attempt to estimate the social cost of this loss of skill.
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