Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
The system is admirable in its intentions and has had a substantial measure of success. It has been criticised as being somewhat dilatory in its operation. Of the complaints pending at the beginning of 1929, 50 were said to have been outstanding since 1922. The magnitude of the task of the settlement of disputes, however, can be judged from the fact that the total number of grievances recorded at the office of the Labour Association in the year 1929 amounted to 4, 000. Although the resort to arbitration has not been as frequent as the number of grievances recorded would lead one to believe, there has been difficulty in some cases in obtaining a suitable umpire. The settlement of disputes concerning wages entails a prolonged examination of facts and figures, and some delay is often inevitable. Although the union is managed more for the workers than by the workers, it appears to have had a considerable educative value. Without desiring to minimise its importance, it is only fair to observe that there are local factors assisting its operation which cannot be reproduced elsewhere. In the first place, Ahmedabad is almost unique among the industrial centres of India in that the employers and the larger proportion of the workpeople belong to the same part of India and share not merely the same religion but the same mother tongue. Most of the Musalman weavers are outside the labour union. In the second place, the scheme seems to us to have depended largely on the unique position of Mr. Gandhi, whose influence in Ahmedabad, both with the employers and the workers, is very great. Both parties have confidence in his sense of fairness and sympathy towards them, and either party would be faced with serious difficulties if it found itself in direct opposition to his views.