Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
So far as working time is concerned, the principal aim should be greater regularity. The combined effect of seasonal absences and the short week worked by most miners is to reduce the number of the average miner's working days to well below half the days of the year. Hours of work (with which we deal later) are also frequently irregular. These irregularities are disliked by coal owners and managers, but it is possible that the employment of raising contractors tends to obscure the extent to which they handicap the industry. In overhead charges, in the cost of housing and sanitation and in other ways the employment of men working, perhaps, on 150 days in the year greatly enhances the cost and lowers the remuneration of labour. Greater regularity of work would be to the immediate advantage both of employers and employed We can put forward no panacea which will effect a revolution in the present irregular methods of work; but there are directions along which progress is possible. In the first place, irregular daily attendance is associated with long working days. So long as a man, on the days when he goes underground, is required, or even permitted, to remain there for 12 hours at a stretch, it is unreasonable to expect him to present himself for work on 6 days of the week, even if it were legal for him to work more than 54 hours a week. No worker, least of all one who is drawn from the open fields, is likely to be ready, save in cases of dire necessity, regularly to spend long hours underground. The shortening of how therefore, to which we refer later, appears essential if greater regularity of attendance is to be secured.