Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Further difficulties are created by industrial organisation. In all countries the growth of large-scale industry renders impossible the close personal relations between employer and employed which subsist when employees are few, and in consequence contact is generally difficult to establish. In India the method of organisation tends to enhance the difficulty. At the top, between the shareholders, who own the concern, and the manager, there is generally another company or firm known as the managing agents; and private shareholders, even if they wished to take an interest in their labour, would ordinarily find it impossible to influence policy in such a matter. Much more serious, from the point of view of labour, is the tendency for managers to delegate some of their functions to subordinates and to interpose unreliable links between themselves and their men. We have already dealt with the power possessed by sardars, mukaddams and other chargemen or. foremen, who are too often able even to dismiss and engage workers. As a rule, the management depends on such men both for its knowledge of the minds and desires of the employees and for the interpretation to them of its own orders. Where this is the practice, it is almost impossible for the management to reach any stable understanding with the workers.
There is a strong tendency for the intermediary, who is responsible for transmitting both orders and complaints, to colour them in the process from his own particular point of view. The result in many factories is that the worker feels that it is useless for him to appeal to any authority higher than the man immediately above him. This is especially true where the management is imperfectly acquainted with the language of the men; in many factories the sardar or mukaddam owes much of his power to the fact that no one above him speaks fluently the tongue common to him and the men under him. In all cases, it is of primary importance that those responsible for management should be both able and eager to secure contact as direct as possible between themselves and the humblest of their employees.