Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
Another source of irregularity in the payment to miners is the extent of the variations in the size of the tubs and in the amount of coal loaded into them. An inquiry conducted by the Chief Inspector of Mines-on our behalf shows that, while tubs of 30 c. ft. capacity are used at 256 out of 296 collieries examined, other sizes are used, exclusively or in combination, by 210 of these collieries. No less than 107 collieries use two or more sizes of tub, two collieries at Jharia having no less than 6 different sizes each. Not only does the size vary but the standard load of the common 30 case,. ft. tub is far from uniform. Thirteen cwt. is-the load at more than 2/5 of the collieries using this size, 14 cwt. at slightly less than 2/5, while the remaining fifth carry 10, 11, 12, 15 or even 16 cwt. in each. Miners' wages are sometimes cut for under-loading and in some mines there is a form of payment for ' surplus ' coal, whereby a bonus is given to the supervisory staff if the aggregate output exceeds the standard tub load multiplied by the number of tubs filled. One of our witnesses, an underground munshi, estimated his income from this source at between 8 and 12 rupees per month at a colliery where 14 cwt, was the standard load. The effect of this practice is to deprive the miner of some of his legitimate earnings. He may be penalised for under-loading and is sometimes induced to overload without any benefit to himself. On the other hand, in some mines the miners benefit from the surplus-allowance, and there is evidence that in other cases there is no deduction for shortage. We recommend that the Mining Boards should examine the question of securing greater uniformity in the size of tubs and of insuring that remuneration bears a closer relation to output. The introduction of a system of check-weighing may be practicable in the larger mines and the possibility of instituting such a system should be explored.