Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Dealing first with hours of labour, all the existing restrictions to which we have referred in connection with perennial factories are ordinarily applicable to seasonal factories. Provincial Governments, however, have certain powers of exemption which relate specially to seasonal factories. All such factories can be exempted from the provision requiring a weekly holiday. Those factories which are " at times dependent on the irregular action of natural forces " can be exempted from the provision requiring a manager to specify the hours of employment beforehand, and tea, coffee and indigo factories can also be exempted from the provision relating to intervals. The power of granting these exemptions is subject to the control of the Governor General in Council, and provincial Governments may attach such conditions as appear suitable to the exemptions they give. Exemptions must also be published in the local official gazette.
Other exemptions can also be given, as in the case of perennial factories, for special classes of workers, for intermittent work or on other grounds, but the power of granting these exemptions cannot ordinarily be used to relax the law for the rank and file in seasonal factories. Apart, therefore, from the special exemption relating to intervals in tea, coffee and indigo factories, the only important exemption generally applicable to seasonal factories is the exemption from the provision of a weekly holiday and this appears to have been used fairly generally. As the majority of seasonal factories, and particularly the cotton-ginning factories, work their operatives. during the season when the crop is at its height, for the full limit of 60 hours in six days of the week, the exemption in itself is of little value unless either fresh workers are employed on the seventh day or the law is evaded by employing the operatives who have already put in six days' work. We fear that, where exemption is given, the latter practice is not uncommon.