Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Mr Cliff, Mr Joshi and Diwan Chaman Lall incline to the opinion that the facts, as disclosed during the tour, warrant a larger reduction of working hours than is recommended. They consider that climatic conditions alone, apart from other factors, dictate such a course. The continuance of the practice of allowing unauthorised intervals that are so striking a feature of the industries working long hours, and the attempts by employers to regulate these intervals are admissions that the worker cannot reasonably be expected to give sustained effort for such long periods as are permissible under the law. This is further borne out by the fact that, in the industries working a shorter day, the workers are expected to give and actually do give a much greater degree of continuous and sustained effort. It has also to be remembered that, of the organised industries, it is mainly in cotton textiles that the worker is required to work for the full statutory week of 60 hours. It is in this industry, which is already protected by tariffs, that, probably not without cause, the charges and complaints against the worker of inattention and inefficiency are greatest. If regard be had to the atmospheric conditions under which cotton operatives work, then it must perform be recognised that, on physical grounds alone, the need of the worker for a shorter working day is undoubted. This industry urgently requires a higher standard of efficiency, but it is scarcely reasonable for the employers to expect a higher standard, while at the same time they are requiring of the workers unreasonably long hours. The conditions existing in many factories, coupled with the long hours, vitiate energy and prevent increased efficiency and production. They hold the view that the essential requirements of a worker, working under Indian conditions, is first a shorter working day and second, the provision of suitable rest periods during the working day. In their opinion the institution of an 8 hour day in factories under present conditions is not only desirable but both practicable and necessary. They believe that, within a reasonable period of time, it would result in increased efficiency on the part of the worker, improved organisation on the part of the employer, and as a result would be a sound economic proposition. They suggest that two hours should be allotted for the provision of suitable rest periods. The settlement of the length of the rest time and its allotment should be determined by local factors. They therefore recommend that in factories the existing weekly and daily limits be reduced to 48 and 8 respectively and that provision be made for adequate rest periods.