Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
In North India the work in the tea factories is seasonal; the factories do not work in the cold weather, and, even in the season when they are open, the work is intermittent. In good weather the flush of leaf usually necessitates a period of heavy pressure with resultant overtime. In bad weather less leaf is plucked and manufacture accordingly decreases. Men are employed on general maintenance work, as boiler attendants, engine drivers, despatchers, etc., as well as on the manufacturing processes of witheri0ng, rolling, drying and fermenting. Women are employed in small numbers, mostly in cleaning and picking over the manufactured tea after it has been graded. These factories are exempt from the rest period, the weekly holiday and adherence to specified hours, but, in order to allow of irregular rest periods, the number of workers employed must be 25 per cent. greater than the number necessary to do the work at any given time. No one may be required to work for more than 14 days at a time without a whole day's leave. All workers are selected from the ordinary plantation population, with the exception of skilled men engaged on machinery. In the case of the women, some plantations employ many who are either pregnant or have just returned to work after child-birth, or women who are convalescent after illness, in order to allow of their being employed temporarily in a sedentary occupation.