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Employment Challenges for India’s Blue and Grey-Collar Workers

Blue and Grey-Collar Workers

Employment Challenges for India’s Blue and Grey-Collar WorkersBlue-collar and grey-collar workers are types of employees who primarily do manual tasks. They participate in several occupations: agriculture, manufacturing, transportation, infrastructure, repair and maintenance. They may do skilled or unskilled labor and are compensated hourly or daily. Blue-collar employment stands in contrast to white-collar occupations, which are mainly office-based and do not need physical labor.

They are mostly employed in the manufacturing, transportation and logistics, caregiving, and retail industries. Workers in India with blue and grey collars encounter particular issues and obstacles. The following part focuses on the employment issues encountered by blue- and grey-collar employees in India, such as obtaining work, avoiding job scams, and gaining access to labor contractors.

 Obstacles for blue-collar workers

The points below explain some of the problems that both blue-collar and white-collar workers in India often face.

 Gaining Employability

One of the greatest obstacles for blue-collar and grey-collar employees in India is finding a job that matches their talents and gaining access to such positions when they become available on the market. Obtaining steady employment becomes tough. The job hunt becomes a time-consuming, difficult, and aggravating endeavor. The epidemic has caused the closure of several enterprises and compelled everyone to adopt cost-cutting measures. This has resulted in widespread employment losses. Even while the lockdown was going on, migrants who worked in construction, industry, transportation, mining, and maintenance returned to their home countries because they couldn’t find work.

White-collar professionals can now access job ads and prospects with much greater ease, thanks to employment platforms and forums. These sites often request that candidates post their resumes in various formats. Due to the inherent difficulties, blue- and grey-collar employees may be unable to apply via this method. They may not have access to computers or knowledge of the application requirements. Most of them come from rural regions and have language problems, so they may also be scared of technology.  

They often rely on informal recommendations, labor contractors, and agency ads to obtain possible employment. It is a time-consuming, difficult procedure with great uncertainties. They might be out of work for a long time before they get a job, which would cause their income to drop.

 Labor contractors and intermediaries

 Blue-collar and grey-collar employees often rely on labor contractors for employment possibilities. These contractors enroll job seekers in their agencies and assign them jobs. They are not the actual employers but serve as a liaison for enterprises that contact them with human resource needs. Although these intermediaries make it simpler for employees to get employment, they demand huge fees and steer job seekers into low-paying positions with the toughest circumstances. Usually, minimum and overtime salaries should be discussed.  

Job Frauds 

Job-hunting for blue-collar is a challenging process. The number of individuals joining the labor force continues to rise daily. Jobseekers are often destitute due to the shifting trends of greater automation, poor employment availability, skill mismatches, financial challenges, etc. As a result, they are easy prey for employment fraud. To entice job seekers into their trap, fraudulent staffing organisations develop bogus positions and websites. They use labour laws to create poor working conditions. Unsuspecting job applicants may be offered high wages for unlawful labor. Some employers take advantage of their workers by giving them low-paying jobs, hard work conditions, ways to get them into debt, and even data theft.


Blue- and grey-collar employees often participate in part-time employment, earning maybe an hourly rate for a half day’s work. It leads to their remaining time is spent idle when they could be working full-time. It restricts their wages, impacts their lifestyle, and represents a squandered opportunity. Occasionally, employees are employed in positions that do not align with their real talents and expertise. The employment they find may only use some of their skills or may pay compensation much below their financial needs. As a result, they are underemployed and unable to use their labour to their fullest capacity. These circumstances result in lost potential revenue and decreased work satisfaction.

 Work-life equilibrium

Typically, blue- and grey-collar employees are underemployed. However, there are cases of employees working inhumane hours with rigid schedules and little regard for work-life balance. Blue-collar employment often includes activities around the clock. There is no 9-to-5 schedule. This unorganised system might be profitable if employment conditions, compensation, and availability were constant. It is difficult for individuals with other obligations, such as family, children, and supplementary jobs, to get a position that meets all of these requirements.


In India, blue-collar labor is one of the lowest-paid occupations. The laborers must put in more effort for low remuneration. In terms of economic power, they are often at the bottom of the social hierarchy. They rely on their income to satisfy all of their financial obligations. They must pay their expenses and provide their family with food, clothes, and shelter. They may suffer life-altering repercussions if they do not get consistent employment and timely pay. In such unstable circumstances, extortionate contractors and predatory bosses worsen the issue. They become desperate for work and afraid of losing money because of the hard-working conditions.


There is a misguided belief that, as sectors shift toward more automation, skilled occupations in manufacturing, warehousing, and agriculture will diminish and eventually vanish until machines replace people. Technology is comparable to a two-edged sword. Although technology may have a negative impact on employment in the near term, it creates enormous opportunities for new and better occupations. Utilizing technology to accommodate the new norm is an urgent need.

Soundlines is one of the most reputable global employment companies, providing clients with fully integrated international talent resourcing and outsourcing services. Soundlines also helps with international recruitment for both blue-collar and white-collar jobs in a variety of industries. This makes the search for the best candidate more accurate and productive each time.

Soundlines has offices in more than twenty-four countries to facilitate the recruitment process for both employers and candidates. Soundlines provides organisations with access to their global experience while maintaining a local presence, ensuring that it is familiar with your brand, culture, needs, and future objectives.

The UAE, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain, Poland, Russia, and Romania are all places where Soundlines has worked with clients for more than 20 years.

Comments (1)

The insightful article sheds light on the employment challenges faced by India’s blue and grey-collar workers. Appreciate the comprehensive analysis and solutions proposed by Soundlines Group to address these pressing issues. A must-read for anyone concerned about improving the livelihoods of these essential workers.

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