Labour Investigation Committee (1946)||
The wage rates of the workers in this industry are not based on any principle, but differ according to the skill and experience of the worker on the one hand and the employer's financial position on the other. There are no regular grades or scales of promotion even in the case of permanent or semi-permanent workers. As compared to the pre-war period the present wage rates have gone up in most of the centres. In Madras, wage rates have gone up by 17.8 per cent. and 36.3 per cent. in the case of male and female coolies respectively. In Bihar wages of casual workers have gone up by about 300 per cent. In Orissa wage rates of temporary workers have gone up by as. 2 per day. In Bombay, wage rates have gone up by about 100 per cent. In the case of piece-workers, the rate has gone up by nearly 1 00 per cent. since the commencement of the War. In some districts of Madras particularly in the West and East Godavari, there is a practice of paying a minimum wage to piece-workers. Dearness allowance is paid only in a few mills and centres. A male cooly in Madras receives at present about Re. 0-8-4 and a women cooly Re. 0-7-6 per day. The earnings of a cooly in Bengal have risen from Rs. 14 during the pre-war period to about Rs. 25 per month in some cases today. In C. P., the maximum wages of an unskilled male cooly is about Re. 1 the minimum being about as. 9. Women workers generally earn a wage of as. 8 per day. In Bihar, a male cooly earns about as. 8 per day only, the rate for women coolies being an anna or two less. In Orissa, the bulk of the male coolies earn anything between as. 6 and as. 10 per day, the range of variation in the wages of earning of women coolies being as. 5 to as. 7-6 per day. Broadly speaking, wages are paid once a month to the monthly-paid workers, once a month or week to the kata workers and daily to casual workers. Almost all the workers are paid directly by the employer but piece-rated workers are paid through the mistry of their batch and a part of their wages is also paid by the contractor when the milling of paddy is undertaken on hire. Some workers are provided with free housing accommodation in Bihar, Orissa and other Provinces. There are no deductions on account of fines or damaged material.