Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
In a somewhat different category, but tending in the same direction so far as the worker is concerned, is the system by which most employers bind themselves not to entice each others labour. The agreement between the planters, referred to as the " labour rules ", imposes a penalty for enticement and prescribes that, if a labourer goes from one garden to another, the manager of the latter must either eject him with all his belongings or refund the cost of his recruitment and the amount of any outstanding advance. The effect of this agreement is that no reputable planter attempts to obtain labour from another garden, and it is against the accepted standards to engage labourers, if there is reason to believe, that they have left another planter. With the cost of recruiting as high as it is, such an attitude is intelligible and can, indeed, be defended as nothing more than the application of a principle familiar to other trade organisations. There is, however, no organisation on the workers' side to redress the balance; the effect of the system is to diminish still further the liberty of the worker to dispose of his labour to the best advantage and to add to the restrictions upon his movements. The effect of this policy, combined with the lack of organisation on the part of the workers, has been to increase the temptation to resort to a policy of restrictions in order to retain labour. The next chapter contains proposals designed to meet this difficulty, and some of the proposals which immediately follow, if adopted, should go far to improve the general position of the worker in his relations with the employer.