Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
In railway workshops the normal hours of employment may be said to be 48 in a week of five and a half days, Saturday afternoons and Sundays generally being observed as holidays or rest days. Overtime, when worked, is paid at a flat rate up to 60 hours per week and thereafter at the rate of time and a quarter. In the larger loco. sheds a three shift system of 8 hours each is worked and in the smaller sheds, where work is intermittent, two shifts of 13 hours a day or 84 hours a week. We are informed that the number of continuous and intermittent workers who respectively perform more than 60 and 48 hours in the week is very small. The hours of work of the mechanical staff employed in the sheds are said to be generally restricted to 8 a day. Overtime is seldom worked but, when it is necessary, it is paid for at the ordinary rate.
The hours of labour in the engineering department on maintenance of permanent way vary on different railways. The Railway Board states that this labour is generally employed from 8 to 9 hours a day and 48 to 58 hours a week. We received evidence that on one railway the actual hours were 12 with two hours off, making 10 hours net per day. They get a half holiday on Sunday or every alternate Sunday off, excepting on one railway where this staff is allowed a full day off every week. Overtime is worked only during accidents or emergencies, when the gangmen, are given either compensatory rests or allowances; these are generally at the rate of half a day's pay if the overtime worked is four hours or less and a whole day's pay if more.
At the larger and important stations where work is continuous a three shift system of 8 hours each is worked by the station staff, with the exception of a few classes whose work is frequently of an intermittent character and performed in 12 hour shifts. At smaller stations, where work as a rule is intermittent, the hours of duty are generally 9 to 12. Although generally less than 60 hours per week, the hours of effective work on some railways exceed that number. Shifts are changed periodically to avoid continuous night duty, but there have been instances of employees being required to work throughout at night. It is said that the weekly rest is now being conceded to station staff where their work is of a continuous nature. Generally no overtime is paid.
The Railway Board states that the running staff provide the chief problem in connection with the application of the International Conventions, and under the draft rules it is proposed to exclude them from the scope of the Conventions pending further enquiries. In normal times a large percentage of this staff is said to work within the 60 hour weekly limit. On some lines, however, it is common for drivers, firemen and guards to work up to 77 and 80 hours weekly and even longer, with the result that these workers are unable to get the full benefit either of the limitation on working hours or of the provision of weekly periods of rest. Overtime, therefore, is paid to a considerable extent in the shape of increased mileage allowance to guards and of overtime and other allowances to drivers and firemen.