Royal Commission on Labour in India: Report(1929)||
The question of maximum intervals, or spreadover, which is not touched by the present Acts, requires attention. In the majority of factories, intervals are not unduly long or numerous, but there are important exceptions. An extreme instance is afforded by two South Indian cotton mills working in shifts, in which one shift has to work for two periods of 5 hours each, separated by intervals of 7 hours. For a man on this shift, 7 hours is the longest period of absence from the factory on working days. It is only fair to add that the shifts are interchanged at regular intervals; but even so, the arrangement is one which ignores the needs of the operatives. In the Bengal jute mills the great majority of the adult operatives begin work at 5-30 A.M. and finish at 7 P.M., with intervals variously arranged, and this is true also of some of the children. The night is thus reduced to 10 1/2 hours, a period which is further reduced for many by reason of the distance of their homes from the factory. It is at least questionable if the present practice in most jute mills is in conformity with the International Labour Convention relating to night work for women, which India has ratified; but whatever view be taken on this point, we believe that, in the interests of the operatives, not less than 11 hours should be secured for both men and women.