Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
As the table indicates, cotton ginning and pressing factories form much the most important group. These factories are all strictly seasonal and are found mainly in Bombay, the Central Provinces, Madras the Punjab, the United Provinces and Ajmer-Merwara. The length of the working period varies, being little more than 2 months in some area and running at times to 7 months in others. Cotton is ginned in some provinces in India in every month of the year in North the season is at its height between December and March. Men and women are employed on ginning in about equal proportions. Boys are engaged on sweeping and odd jobs, but girls are only occasionally employed. The labour is predominatingly local; it comes from surrounding villages, returning home at night, and is employed directly by the owner or lessee of the ginnery. In some cases, however, particularly in the Punjab, a labour contractor is employed who takes on workers by the day. Many of these people move at will from ginnery to ginnery or from press to press throughout the season, even in districts where the wages are practically standardised. In other districts, notably in Madras, sometimes as many as three-quarters of the workers are in the employ, not of the owner or lessee, but of the merchant or contractor whose cotton is being ginned. This position has been known to cause difficulties in the observance of the Act since factory owners, accused of breaking the regulation in respect of hours, plead that the persons properly responsible are the direct employers of the men.