Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
The only other ground for discharge requiring consideration is that of reduction of establishment. Circumstances may arise necessitating a reduction of the staff employed in the various departments. This is a matter of policy to be decided by the administrations and in our opinion must be differentiated from discharges connected with discipline or efficiency.
It may, and in certain circumstances should, be met by the working of short time, the stoppage of recruiting, the operation of normal wastage or the retirement of staff taking their gratuity and provident fund. It may be possible to arrange for the transfer of individuals to other departments or other railways on similar or even reduced rates of pay. Reductions in staff as a rule affect more individuals than one and, where necessary, other things being equal, the principle of seniority should apply. Already on several railways registers are maintained of men discharged on reduction and transfers effected with other departments. We should like to see this practice universally adopted, but, in addition, we would emphasise the necessity of careful preparation in advance of programmes of maintenance and construction in order to ensure stability of employment as far as possible and so mitigate the hardships that reductions entail. In this connection we are informed that the Railway Board, in issuing the recently revised rules regulating the discharge and dismissal of state railway non-gazetted servants, recommended that any instance where it was proposed at one time to effect a comparatively large reduction of staff, say, 100 employees or more, the recognised trade union representing the interests of such employees should be informed of the proposal as early as possible, with a. general statement of the reasons for the intended reduction.