Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
The proposal made by the Government of Bengal is that, in respect of shifts, local Governments should have power similar to that held by factory inspectors prior to 1922. Under the original Factories Act of 1911, textile mills could not work for more than 12 hours except on a system of shifts approved by the inspector. We consider that this goes beyond the needs of the case, and we are anxious that employers who wish to work on shift systems should be subject to as few restrictions as possible. We recommend, therefore, that in future the local Government should have the power to control overlapping shifts. By these we mean shifts which involve the simultaneous employment on work of the same kind of more than one shift of persons; such shifts have already been made illegal in mines by the Indian Mines Act. So far as the jute industry is concerned, we understand that it is itself effecting a reform; there has been a steady tendency to convert multiple-shift mills to the single-shift system, and it is possible that multiple-shift mills, which are now in the minority, will disappear without official action in a short time. Sir Alexander Murray agrees with our recommendation that Government should have the power to control overlapping shifts but he regrets that his experience does not allow him to accept our picture of the working of the system or of its effects.