Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Except for piece-work, which is in vogue to some extent in the workshops of several railways, wages are rated by the day or by the month. As almost all wages are paid monthly, workers generally cam be divided into those daily-rated monthly-paid and those monthly-rated monthly-paid. The workers in the loco., carriage and wagon shops are practically all daily-rated, with the exception of those employed in certain shops of two railways, who are monthly-rated. It has been urged that all workers should be monthly-rated so that those now daily-rated may be entitled to all the privileges open to monthly workers, including liberty to join provident funds. Already in some cases provision is made allowing daily-rated workers to join provident funds, and lately orders have been issued under which daily-rated workers in state-managed railways, after three years' service, will be entitled to a month's notice of a month's pay in lieu of notice. As few workers in other branches of the service are daily-rated, we recommend that, after twelve months' continuous service, all employees should be monthly-rated and, as soon as practicable, made eligible for all the service privileges to which monthly-rated employees are entitled. In connection with proposals we make elsewhere, we should observe that we do not consider the monthly-rated status incompatible with payment at shorter intervals than a month.
We are informed that enquiries are being made with a view to improving the system of grading in cases where incremental scales of pay are in force, in order to meet complaints that increments are too small and Mocks in promotion prolonged. Time-scales, i.e., fixed periodical increases, are in force in some departments and not in others. We consider these enquiries should be extended to cover the comparative merits of the system of time-scales and that of beginners' rates increasing within a short period to fixed standard rates. The latter system appears to us, under existing conditions, to be suitable for application to certain classes of railway workmen, eg., those engaged in maintenance of permanent way and works and in certain departments of workshops. In other branches of the service there may be difficulties in effecting changes in established custom, and we agree there is much to be said for a system which, by the grant of increments for approved service, encourages the able and willing worker to attain higher standards of skill and efficiency, with increasing rates of pay. Under either system the worker must be satisfied he is getting a fair deal. The same may be said of the different systems of piece-work and payment by results that have been introduced in several railway workshops. They provide additional incentives to the industrious and capable workman to improve his output and increase plus earnings. So long a s it is understood that changes in method provide the only justification for alterations in bases of calculation (except in the event of mistakes clearly apparent to both employer and employee), we consider there is room for extension of bonus and similar systems in railway workshops generally.