Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
The jute industry has been more fortunate than the cotton industry as regards the prevalence of industrial unrest and the repercussion of political factors upon stability. As a result, it has escaped the series of investigations by statutory and other bodies to which its sister industry has been subjected in the last few years. This may in part account for the fact that, although the jute industry, on account of fewer variations in the classes of goods manufactured and the degree of comfort in the factory, is a far easier field for an attempt at standardisation than the cotton industry, no serious consideration has hitherto been given to the matter. The Indian Jute Mills Association declared the existing variations in wages to depend upon the differences in cost of living indifferent jute manufacturing areas. The evidence of the Bengal Government, however, states " Perhaps in no industry in the world, situated in such a circumscribed area, is the wage position more inchoate. The mills, grouped under different managing agents, work under wage systems which have developed many local idiosyncrasies during the long or short years of their existence.
Even in mills under the same managing agents, there are differences which, to persons not acquainted with the position, seem incredible. For example, in two mills situated in the same area and separated from each other by little more than a boundary wall, under the same managing agents, there is practically not. a single entry of wages which is the same. In three mills under the same managing agents, situated within a stone's throw of each other, the rates in one mill have for many years been higher than those in the other two mills. In other groups of mills, situated close to each other and under different managing agents, the wage rates in individual mills are kept, or are supposed to be kept, strictly secret. The total earnings are not necessarily kept secret, but each prides itself on having been able to declare piece-rates or bonus-rates which are better than the rates of the neighbouring mills."