Glossary beginning with I

Click one of the letters above to go to the page of all terms beginning with that letter.


Immigration search for term

Immigration is the movement of people from their country of birth into another country or region in order to settle there.

Indentured labour search for term

A system of forced labour in which people are contracted to work for a specified period of time, with no option to leave before the end the contract. Britain used the system widely after the abolition of slavery, transporting indentured labourers from China and India to work in its colonies. The contracts usually stated that the workers had to work to repay the cost of their transport and cover the cost of their keep. 

Indian independence movement (or Indian freedom movement) search for term

A political movement campaigning for independence for India from Britain’s colonial rule. It took many decades before India gained its independence in 1947.

Industrial Action search for term

Organised protest activities by employees, such as a strike or refusing to work more than the hours set out in their contract.

Industrial Dispute search for term

A disagreement between an employer and its workers - usually over conditions of employment, such as working hours or pay. Workers are usually represented by a trade union.

Industrial Revolution search for term

A period between about 1760 and 1840, when Britain moved from a mainly farming society to one focused on manufacturing, in factories and workshops. Many people moved from the country to work in cities, and there were huge advances in technology and transport, such as the development of canals and railways. 

International Competition search for term

Pressure from rival companies and countries around the world that produce the same thing. For example, a company in one country might be able to pay lower wages than a company in another country, giving them an advantage as they could lower the cost of what they produce, or make more profit.

International Labour Organisation search for term

A United Nations agency that works to promote labour rights around the world. 

Irregular Worker search for term

Irregular workers include people who do not work regularly, such as seasonal labourers. It also includes workers who are not registered – for example they might not legally be allowed to work – and so they are not guaranteed the same rights as regular workers.