Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Mr Cliff, Mr Joshi and Diwan Chaman Lall dissent from our view and state that under the existing Statute a mine may open for twenty-four hours on each of the six working days. The statute permits daily shifts of twelve hours, but requires that the maximum weekly hours shall not exceed fifty-four for underground workers and sixty in the case of surface workers. The Chief Inspector of Mines admits that the checking of the number of hours worked by individual workers is difficult. In his view, this arrangement of hours, together with the number of adults at some collieries, lends itself to evasion and makes enforcement difficult, if not impracticable. It appears from the report of the Select Committee that, when the question of the limitation of daily hours was being discussed, one of the main considerations which led to the decision that it would be unwise to recommend a lower daily limit than 12 hours was the fear that the workers would be unable to maintain the current level of earnings. Some of the larger collieries are already working eight hour shifts, and other collieries are working ten hour shifts. It is significant that at such collieries the attendance and the level of earnings tend to be higher than prevail at collieries working longer hours and it is not suggested that earnings at such collieries are below the general level. In. no other country is a twelve hour shift permissible, though the weekly limit in two countries is higher. They incline to the opinion that, from the standpoint of the coal industry, a reduction of the existing level of hours would be a paying proposition and hold that, from all points of view, it would be in the best interests of the worker. They therefore recommend that the present daily limit be reduced to eight hours.