Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Another question, to which great attention has been directed in Bengal in connection with the jute mills, is the control of shifts. Prior to 1922, textile factories could not work for more than 12 hours in all except under a system of shifts approved by an inspector. In 1922 all restrictions on the running hours of machinery were abolished, and with these went all power to prevent the working of shifts. The Government of Bengal now desire power to control the working of shifts with a view to the prevention or modification of a system which has been extensively used in jute mills. The practices to which the Government of Bengal and others have directed our attention require explanation. The Bengal jute mills are divided into " single-shift " and " double-shift " mills. All the mills open at 5-30 A.M. and close at 7 P.M., and in the former class of mills there is an interval of 21/2 hours during which no work is done. Here the only defect is the inadequate night period, with which we have already dealt. In the " double-shift " mills, the machinery runs for the whole 13 1/2 hours and work is conducted on a system of overlapping multiple shifts. This is best understood by reference to the appended diagram, which shows the shifts and the hours during which they worked in a typical mill. The essence of the system is that the workers in each department are divided into a number of groups enjoying intervals at different times, so that the machinery runs continuously for 13 1/2 hours with constant changes in the groups at work. It will be observed that, in the case illustrated by the diagram, the intervals are so arranged that at 22 different times in the course of the day, some workers are due to come in and relieve others who go out.