Labour Investigation Committee (1946)||
A wage census was conducted on the basis of a representative sample of workers in all centres of the cotton industry except those in the Bombay Province. The reason for not covering the centres in this Province was that adequate data relating to wages and earnings therein were available in the reports of the Bombay Labour Office and of the Bombay Textile Labour Enquiry Committee. These have, however, been brought up-to-date on the basis of the information collected in the course of our present enquiries. Owing to the differences in occupational nomenclatures, the type of work done, hours of work, etc., no strict comparisons of wages and earnings are possible as between the different centres of the industry. An attempt has, however, been made to present the data for all the important centres, except those in the Bombay Province, in a tabular form at the end of the section.
(i) Bombay Province
In the year 1938, workers in cotton mills employed in the Province of Bombay received certain increases in their wages as a result of the recommendations made by the Bombay Textile Labour Enquiry Committee.
As a result of these increases, the wage bills in the three important centres of the industry, namely, Bombay, Ahmedabad and Sholapur were estimated to have increased by 11.9, 9 and 14.3 percent, respectively. In the Province, the wage level is slightly higher in Ahmedabad than in Bombay City. The Sholapur wage level is distinctly very much lower. In the smaller centres such as Barsi, Gadag, Hubli, etc., both the wages and earnings are, comparatively speaking, extremely low and as there are no other alternative sources of employment there and as labour is not well-organised, the workers had to remain content with the lower wage levels. In Bombay, Ahmedabad and Sholapur, the payment of clearness allowance is linked with the cost of living index numbers which are published by the Bombay Labour Office. The allowance was first granted to cotton mill workers in Bombay city on the recommendation of a Conciliation Board. The present position is that the allowance is paid at a flat rate irrespective of income.
The following table shows the cost of living index number and the monthly amount paid by way of dearness allowance to those working 26 days in the month.:—
Dearness Allowances in Bombay
|Month allowance p.m.||Cost of living index number||Dearness allowance p.m.|
|Rs. A. P.|
|August, 1941||131||6 3 0|
|July 1942||168||14 15 0|
|July, 1943||235||30 13 0|
|July, 1944||236||31 1 0|
|September, 1945||243||32 11 0|
The principle adopted is to compensate the workers in Bombay City to the extent of 76.5 per cent of the increase in the cost of living. In Ahmedabad, the parties decided by mutual agreement, that compensation should be at a flat rate to the extent of about 97 per cent. of the increase in the cost of living. Thus in June 1944, clearness allowance granted to the workers earning below Rs. 200 p.m., amounted to about Rs. 53 p.m. In Sholapur, on the other hand where the workers are comparatively ill-organised, the present scale of clearness allowance per month, comes, on an average to about Rs. 22-5-6 only. In the smaller centres clearness allowance is somewhat inadequate and varies from Rs. 0-5-6 per worker per day in Gadag to Rs. 1-2-3 per worker per day In Poona. In one centre, namely, Gokak, no dearness allowance in cash is paid to workers, but they are given principal commodities of consumption at pre-war rates and it is estimated that, on an average, the cost of these to the employer comes to Rs. 20 per worker per month.
The following table shows the monthly wages and earnings of workers in important occupations in the year 1944 in Bombay City:—
Wages and earnings in selected occupations in Bombay City in 1944
|Occupation||Monthly Basic Wages or earning||Interim increase||Dearness Allowance||Total monthly earnings of full time workers.|
|Rs. A, P.||Rs, A. P.||Rs. A. P.||Rs. A. P.|
|Doffers||. 16 14 10||2 10 3||31 5 0||50 14 1|
|Ring Siders .||. 22 3 4||376||31 5 0||56 15 10|
|Tarwallas||. 20 15 10||3 4 6||31 5 0||55 9 4|
|Drawing Tenters (Single)||. 27 9 0||370||31 5 0||62 5 0|
|Grey Winders||. 18 10 0||2 14 3||31 5 0||52 13 3|
|Colour Winders||. 21 I 0||3 4 6||31 5 0||55 10 6|
|Reelers||. 18 0 0||2 13 9||31 5 0||53 8 9|
|Two-loom Weavers||. 39 10 0||2 11 5||31 5 0||74 10 5|
It will be seen from Table 47 that in the case of certain occupations like doffers dearness allowance amounts to nearly twice as much as the basic wage and that for a full month's work no worker earned less than Rs. 50. In addition to wages and dearness allowance, all the mills in Bombay City have been Paying a Profit Bonus since 1941. The bonus for that year was equal to 1 1/2 month's wages and was paid only to permanent workers whose names were on the rolls on 31st December, 1941 and also on the date of payment. Badli workers who satisfied the above condition and had also worked for 75 days during the year were entitled to it. In 1942 the following two years, a bonus equivalent to two months' earnings was paid. A few mills also pay a good-attendance bonus to their workers in certain, departments and some mills pay an efficiency bonus in certain occupations. The wage period in Bombay City is a month and wages are paid within ten days of their becoming due.
FN Average for the 12 months of the year 1944.
In Ahmedabad, the wage period is a hapta either of 16 or 14 days and it has not, therefore, been possible to present the monthly wage figures. The average daily wages of workers in important occupations are set forth below:—
Daily wages and earnings1 in selected occupations in Ahmedabad in 1944
|Occupation||Time or Piece||Average daily wage|
|Rs. A. P.|
|Drawing tenters (Men)||. T||100|
|Drawing tenters (Men)||. P||104|
|Drawing tenters (Women)||. P||1 0 2|
|Slubbing tenters (Men) with back tenters||. P||11 3|
|Without back tenters||. T||0 15 9|
|Without back tenters||. P||I 3 2|
|Single machine Inter tenters (Men)||. T||100|
|Single machine Inter tenters (Men)||. P||I 12 0|
|Single machine Roving tenters Men (doing own creeling)||. T||0 15 9|
|Single machine Roving tenters Men (doing own creeling)||. P||0 15 10|
|Single machine Roving tenters Men (not doing own creeling) .||. T||0 10 3|
|Single, machine Roving tenters Men (not doing own creeling) .||. P||0 14 7|
|Double machine Roving tenters men (doing own creeling)||. P||1 5 7|
|Double machine Roving tenters men (not doing own creeling) .||. P||1 5 3|
|Single side siders (Men)||. T||0 15 9|
|Single side siders (Women) .||. T||0 15 7|
|Double side siders (Men)||. T||1 15 10|
|Double side siders (Women)||T||1 5 9|
|Doffers (Men and Women)||. T||0 10 9|
|Grey winders (Men)||. T||0 15 10|
|Grey winders (Men)||. P||0 9 11|
|Grey winders (Women)||. P||085|
|Colour winders (Men) .||. T||070|
|Colour winders (Men)||. P||0 11 4|
|Colour winders (Women)||. P||0 10 3.|
|Reelers (Women)||. P||087|
|Pirn winders (Men)||. T||0 11 0|
|Pirn winders (Men)||. P||0 13 0|
|Pirn winders (Women)||. T||0 14 5.|
|Warpers (Men)||. T||203|
|Warpers (Men)||. P||1 15 1|
|Warping creelers (Men) .||. T||097|
|Warping creelers (Women)||. P||067|
|Front sizers .||. T||0 12 10|
|Back sizers||. T||1 14 8|
FN Exclusive of dearness and other allowances. 17—2 Lab. 56.
|Occupation||Time or Piece||Average daily wage|
|Rs. A. P.|
|Sizing Mixers||. T||1 13 10|
|One loom weavers (Ordinary)||. T||0 12 6|
|One loom weavers (Plain & Greys)||. P||0 14 10|
|One loom weavers (Jacquarda and Blankets),||. T||1 4 4|
|Two loom weavers||. P||1 9 1|
|Beam carriers.||. T||0 15 8|
|Coolies (Men)||- T||0 10 11|
|Coolies (Women)||. T||082|
The highest amount of dearness allowance paid in any single month amounted to slightly over Rs. 77 in December 1943. Thus, the least skilled worker such as a doffer with a basic wage of about Rs. 17-8-0 per month was receiving, including dearness allowance about Rs. 86-13-0 in December, 1944. 1 In addition to the clearness allowance, certain other allowances are also paid to workers. Since the year 1920 an attendance bonus of as, 8 per hapta is paid in the spinning department on condition of regular attendance for 8 days during a hapta. In most of the mills an efficiency bonus at the rate of as. 4 per loom per worker is paid to weavers whose production is above a particular level. As in the case of Bombay city, a bonus which worked out to about 1 1\2 months* wages was given to the workers in 1941 as a result of an agreement between the Millowner's Association and the Textile Labour Association. In, 1942 a bonus equivalent to 21/2 month's wages was given to those who had worked for at least 81/2 months in that year while in 1943 a bonus equivalent to 20 per cent. of the yearly earnings was given to those workers whose monthly wages were below Rs. 200 and who had worked for more than 75 days during the year. Only half the amount was paid to those workers who worked for more than 32 but less than 75 days.
As the following table will show, both wages and earnings in Sholapur are comparatively much lower than those obtaining in Bombay and Ahmedabad. Here, again, the amount of clearness allowance is in some cases twice and in others as much as three times the basic wage:—
Gross earnings per month in selected occupations in Sholapur in 1944
|Occupation||Daily wages or earnings in July '37||Amount of 1938|
|Dearness Allowance||Total Gross Earnings.|
|Increase for 26 day's work.|
|for 26 day's work.||Rs. A. P.||Rs. A. P.||Rs. A. P.||Rs- A. P.|
|Drawing Tenters||098||2 15 3||22 5 6||41 10 1|
|Slubbing Tenters||0 11 4||370||22 5 6||44 3 2|
|Inter Tenters||0 10 9||3 8 0||22 5 6||43 5 6|
|Siders (Single)||0 8 10||2 11 0||22 5 6||39 6 a|
|Doffers (Ring and Frame) .||0 7 6||247||22 5 6||36 13 1|
|Tarwallas||070||220||22 5 6||351 3 6|
|Two-loom weavers||1 5 11||373||22 5 6||61 6 7|
|Winders—Grey||045||160||22 5 6||30 12 2|
|Winders—Colour||0 5 1||1 8 9||22 5 6||32 2 5|
|Reelers||0 41||1 3 6||22 5 6||30 2 2|
FN Since 8th August, 1945, dearness allowance is paid at the rate of 76%.
All the mills in Sholapur are paying a War Bonus since 1941. The bonus for that year amounted to 1/8th of the total yearly earnings (exclusive of dearness allowance) and was paid to those workers who were in service during the month of December of the year for which the bonus was paid. The bonus amounted to 1/8th of the annual earnings for the years 1942, 1943 and 1944.
All the smaller centres in Bombay Province have granted the increases in wages recommended by the Bombay Labour Inquiry Committee in 1938. The following table gives the present position in regard to wages and earnings in these centres:—
Wages and Earnings in minor Cotton Textile Centres in Bombay Province in 1945
|Basic Wages or earnings per month including 1938 increase||Average Dearness allowance Per month||Total|
|Rs.||a. p||. Rs. a. p.||Rs. a. p.|
|Drawing Tenter .||...... 24||9 4||29 10 6||54 3 10|
|Slubbing Tenter||. 24||9 4||29 10 6||54 3 10|
|Inter Tenter||. 25||0 10||29 10 6||54 11 4|
|Roving Tenter .||. 24||14 4||29 10 6||54 8 10|
|Sider||. 21||8 4||29 10 6||51 2 10|
|Doffers||. 18||8 7||29 10 6||53 3 1|
|Two-loom Weaver||. 28||4 11||29 10 6||57 15 5|
|Grey Winder||. 13||8 7||29 10 6||43 3 1|
|Colour Winder .||. 12||6 7||29 10 6||42 I I|
|Heeler||. 8||3 6||36 to 6||37 14 0|
Wage and Earnings in minor Cotton Textile Centres in Bombay Province in 1945.
It will be seen that the earnings in the mills at Poona vary from Rs. 38 to Rs. 58, while at Barsi, Gadag, Gokak and Surat they vary between Rs. 21 and Rs. 43, Rs. 15/6- and Rs. 25/9/-, Rs. 9/3/- and Rs. 25/3- and Rs. 52/5/- and Rs. 80/13/- respectively. It has already been stated that the mill at Gokak does not pay any dearness allowance in cash but supplies commodities at pre-war prices. The wage level at Surat is largely influenced by that of Baroda and Ahmedabad. The Gokak mills paid a profit bonus equivalent to 2 month's wages during 1942-43 and 1943-44, while in the Poona mills the bonus paid was equivalent to 1/6th of the wages in 1943-44. At Gadag the bonus paid in 1944 amounted to 2 month's wages, while at Barsi it varied from 2 to 3 month's wages. In Surat, one unit paid bonus in 1943 on the same scale as in Ahmedabad while the other unit paid 1/6th of the basic wage for the year 1943 and 1944. The wage period is generally a month but in Surat, weavers are paid fortnightly. In Barsi, temporary workers are paid weekly.
(ii) South India.
Among the South Indian centres, Coimbatore is one of the most important. The basic wage level in Coimbatore, nowhere, is much lower than in the larger centres of the industry. The dearness allowance in Coimbatore is linked to the official cost of living index number and is paid according to a sliding scale at the rate 75 per cent. (in cash) plus 3 per cent. to 45 per cent. (in kind) of the basic wage level according as the cost of living index moves between 178 and 225, but the basic wages themselves being low the amount of the average daily net earnings comes to about Rs. 0-8-0 in the case of the least skilled operative such as a spinning doffer. The table below shows the wages and earnings in the cotton mills at Coimbatore for the month of January 1944:—
Wage and Earnings (weighted averages) of Cotton Mill Workers in Coimbatore in Selected Occupations for the month of January 1944.
An annual bonus called the Profit or Prosperity Bonus is being paid by all the mills in Coimbatore. In 1943 and 1944 it amounted to a months wages. In some mills, however, out of the bonus paid a sum equivalent to 1 month's wages has been invested either in Defence Savings Certificates or in the share capital of the mills co-operative Society.
The wage period is a month and wages are paid within 10 days of their being due.
The Buckingham and Carnatic Mills in Madras have introduced a standard basic wage scheme since 1st January 1942. Under it fresh recruits are paid at new rates. Those in service on 31st December 1941 have their wages divided into two parts.
(a) basic wage ; and
(b) the percentage, the latter being the difference between the December 1941 wage and the standard basic wage. On the first of January every year an increase of one per cent. on the basic wage is given. The following table shows the wages and earnings in this mill:—
Average daily wages and earnings in selected occupations in the Buckingham and Carnatic Mills, Madras, in 1944
|Occupation||Sex||Piece or time rate||Number of hours of work per shift||Number of workers||Average daily basic wages earned||Average daily net earnings|
|Drawing Tenter .||M||T||9||100||1||3||I||2||0||6|
|Slubbing Tenter .||M||P||9||29||1||8||8||2||6||4|
|Roving Tenter (Single)||M||P||9||86||1||1||11||I||15||a|
|Roving Tenter (Two Frames)||M||P||9||6||1||10||8||12||9||a.|
|Ring Piecer (Siders)||M||P||9||497||0||12||6||I||9||11|
|Twelve-Loom Weaver .||M||P||9||80||2||3||0||3||7||4|
Nearly 60 per cent. of the workers in this mill have a basic wage of annas 12 and under Re. 1 per day while the earnings of more than 61 per cent. of the workers fall in the earning category Rs. 1-8-0 to Rs. 1-120 per day. Toe scale of dearness allowance paid is linked to the official cost of living index number. According to the scale, annas 4 are paid perpoint of the rise in the index from 108 to 131, annas 3 from 131 to 160 and, thereafter, annas 2 per point. The mill pays a number of allowances and bonuses. A temporary war production bonus is being paid since January 1940 to permanent workers at the rate of 6 pies per rupee of the wages earned. Since the number of persons working night shifts has greatly increased on account of war, such workers are paid at the rate of 1 1/4 times the normal rates of wages. A production bonus varying from 1 per cent. to 6 per cent. of the total earnings is paid to weavers when the production is above a specified minimum. An attendance bonus at the rate of Rs. 2/8- per half year is paid to all permanent workers (whose pay is less than Rs. 100 p.m.) who have not been absent even for a day except on privilege leave. An annual profit bonus is paid to permanent workers at the end of every half year. It amounted to 12 per cent. of the wages for the half year ending 31st June, 1945.
The table below shows the wages and earnings in the cotton mills at Madura :—
Wages and Earnings (weighted averages) of Cotton Mill Workers in Madura in selected occupations in April 1944
|Occupation||Sex||Piece or time rate||Number of hours of work per shift||Number of workers||Average daily Basic wages earned||Average daily net earnings|
|Rs||. a.||p.||Rs. a.||P|
|Drawing Tenter||M||T||8,9||465||0||9||3||1 7 8|
|Slubbing Tenter.||M||T||8,9||137||0||10||10||1 9 2|
|Inter Tenter||M||T||8.9||281||0||10||3||1 9 9|
|M||P||9||5||0||11||9||1 3 0|
|Roving Tenter .||M||T||8.9||476||0||10||7||1 9 3|
|M||P||9||12||0||9||10||1 0 0|
|Roving Doffer||M||T||8,9||585||0||7||8||1 5 3|
|Ring Doffer||C||T||8,9||345||0||3||9||0 10 2|
|M||T||8,9||2,28l||0||7||5||1 6 6|
|F||T||8.9||138||0||7||0||1 6 0|
|Spinning full siders||M||T||9||3.435||0||11||5||1 9 9|
|F||T||9||193||0||7||2||1 3 1|
|Reeler||M||P||9||1,329||0||7||I||1 5 3|
|Single Loom Weave||M||P||9||11||0||11||11||1 7 4|
|Two-Loom Weaver||M||P||9||139||0||13||2||1 8 7|
|Winder .||M||T||9||429||0||7||6||1 6 7|
|Cone Winder||M||T||9||212||0||7||11||1 7 9|
|Tim Winder||M||T||9||10||0||6||4||1 2 2|
|Lessona Winder||M||T||9||517||0||3||4||1 8 8|
|Cooly||M||T||9||655||0||9||3||1 4 4|
The workers in the larger units of the industry in this centre receive dearness allowance at the rate of Rs. 24 per month. The allowance is linked with the cost of living index number for Madura, but recently on-a representation made by the workers in one of the units about its inadequacy, the management conceded an allowance higher than that Justified by the rise recorded by the cost of living index number. The largest unit of the industry in this centre has also now laid down a basic minimum wage.
As in the Province of Bombay, in Cawnpore also, wage increases were given in the year 1938 as a result of the recommendations of a Committee-appointed by Government. The scale of increase granted was annas 2 1/2 in the rupee to those earning between Rs. 13 and Rs. 19 subject to the-condition that no one gets more than Rs. 21-8-0, and only half an annas in the rupee to those earning between Rs. 40 and Rs. 59 subject to the condition that no one gets more than Rs. 60-8-0. The Committee also recommended Rs. 15 p.m. as the minimum wage. Wages in Cawnpore have not been standardized and there are considerable variations in the basic wage rates as between unit and unit. The following table shows the position as regards wages and earnings in selected important occupations :—
Wages and Earnings (weighted averages) of Cotton Mill Workers in Cawnpore in Selected occupations in March, 1944.
|Occupation||Sex||Piece or time rate||Number of hours||Number of workers||Average||daily basic wages||Average||daily||earnings|
Wages and Earnings (weighted averages) of Cotton Mill Workers in Kanpore in selected occupations in March 1944
|Occupation||Sex||Piece or time rate||Number of hours of works||Number of workers||Average daily basic wages||Average daily net earnings|
|Ditto .||M||P -||10||286||0||12||10||1||14||4|
|Colour winder .||M||P||10||67||I||I||4||2||4||8|
|High speed winder||M||P||10||160||0||15||8||2||4||7|
|Single loom weaver .||M||P||10||427||I||1||8||3||3||4|
|Weaver (Three loom).||M||P||10||340||I||10||0||2||14||3|
|Weaver (Four-loom) .||M||P||9||138||I||9||7||2||9||0|
Dearness allowance is paid to cotton mill workers according to the scale sanctioned by the Employers' Association of Northern India. The rate of allowance paid varies according to the incomes, the highest rate being paid to those in receipt of the lowest wages. In August 1945, the lowest rate of allowance per day per operative in the lowest wage category was about annas 14 for every rupee of the basic wage. In addition to wages and dearness allowance certain bonuses such as attendance and production bonuses are paid in some mills. Even prior to 1941, some of the mills in Cawnpore used to grant a profit bonus by way of ex gratia payment. The rate of the bonus is now fixed by the Employers' Federation and every mill pays it at the same rate. In the years 1942 and 1943, profit bonus was paid at the rate of annas 4 per rupee of basic wages.
There are large variations in the basic wage rates in the cotton mills in the different centres in Bengal. Information collected during the course of the Wages Census shows that about 12.49 per cent. of the workers receive wage under annas 8 per day, about half the labour force or 46.64 per cent. of the total is found in the basic wage group annas 8 and under annas 12, 14.41 per cent. In the wage group annas 12 to Re. 1, about a quarter of the labour force or 23.44 per cent. in the wage group Re. 1 to Rs. 1-2-0 and about 3.02 per cent. in the wage group Rs. 1-2-0 to Rs. 1-12-0. In the last group are found nearly three-fourths of the two-loom weavers.
All the units surveyed for the purposes of this enquiry pay a dearness allowance to their work-people, but this is not related to a cost of living index number. The scale adopted for payment shows a bewildering variation between centre "and centre and unit and unit. Sometimes the allowance is graded according to' wage categories. In a few units a fixed percentage of the wages is paid by way of dearness allowance. The units in Dacca pay at a flat rate of Rs. 12 to Rs. 13 per month to all the workers. The following table shows the wages and earnings in the cotton mills in Bengal:—
Wages and Earnings (weighted averages) of Cotton Mill Workers in Bengal in selected occupations in January 1944.
|Occupations||Sex||Piece or Time
|Number of hours
of work per shift
|Number of workers||Average
|Average daily net
|Rs. a. p.||Rs. a. p.|
|Drawing Tenter||M||P/T||9/8||84||0 9 4||146|
|Inter Tenter||M||P/T||9/8||131||1 0 5||1 15 6|
|Slubbing Tenter||M||P/T||9/8||73||0 12 3||1 7 1|
|Roving Tenter||M||P/T||9||82||0 12 2||12 1 1|
|Piecer||M||T||9||1, 201||0 8 11||1 4 11|
|Double Piecer .||M||T||8/9||116||0 11 3||1 10 2|
|Head Piecer||M||P||9||12||1 5 2||2 11 2|
|Doffer||M||T||8/9||633||289||1 5 8|
|Colour Winder .||M||P||9||127||0 II 2||1 12 7|
|F||P||9||31||0 11 4||1 5 11|
|Drum Winder .||M||9||6||0 12 2||0 12 2|
|Pirn Winder||M||P/T||9||155||0 11 I||1 15 11|
|F||T||9||10||0 10 0||1 0 5|
|Winder||M||T||9||59||0 13 3||1 11 9|
|F||P||9||44||009||1 6 4|
|Resocona Winder||M||P||9||195||0 8 4||1 7 9|
|F||P||9||285||054||1 4 4|
|Cone Winder||M||T||9||49||053||0 12 0|
|Inter Winder||M||P||9||13||0 6 2||1 2 7|
|Lessona Winder||M||P||9||21||0 11 2||1 10 7|
|F||F||9||23||0 8 10||1 6 11|
|Cord Winder||M||P||9||2||0 10 4||1 9 7|
|Cheese Winder||M||P/T||9||49||0 7 7||1 5 5|
|F||P||9||3||0 8 2||1 7 5|
|Grey Winder||M||P/T||9||282||0 II 0||1 3 0|
|F||P||9||134||0 9 1||1 0 6|
|Single-Loom Weaver .||M||P||9||62||076||1 1 9|
|Two-Loom Weaver||M||P/T||9||2, 735||0 15 5||249|
|Three-Loom weaver,||M||F||9||9||122||2 0 6|
|Weavers Tape-Making||M||P/T||9||314||1 1 8||1 6 6|
|Reeler||M||P/T||9||289||034||1 3 9|
|F||P||9||96||0 8 3||0 15 5|
|Cooly||M||P/T||9||991||0 10 0||1 6 0|
In addition to wages and dearness allowances, an attendance bonus is paid in most of the unit surveyed. A few units pay a production bonus as well. No profit bonus is paid by any mill in Bengal.
Frequency Table Showing Average Daily Net Earnings of Workers of Cotton Mills Surveyed in India (excluding Bombay Province) in 1944.
In Delhi there have been no changes in the basic wages paid by any of the four units since the pre-war period. It is difficult to discuss the average basic wages and earnings for different occupations in this centre in view of the fact that the hours of work are not uniform as between unit and. unit and also in the same unit. Again the shift hours differ from six to nine in the same unit. For some occupations, however, it is possible to arrive at some idea of the rates of basic wages paid. For instance, the average wage in one unit for roving tenters working eight hours per day was Rs. 14-8-0 while in another it was Rs. 11-7-0. The average basic wage of a ring doffer working 7 1/2 hours was 0-9-3 in one unit and 0-8-7 in another. The basic earnings of weavers, particularly two-loom weavers, show a very wide variation. This may be partly due to the different hours worked and also to the differences in the types of manufacture. The following table shows the average basic wages and earnings in certain important occupations in the industry:—
Wages and Earnings (weighted averages) of Cotton Mill Workers in Delhi in important occupations in 1944.
|Sex||Number of workers||Piece or Time rate||No. of hours of work||Average daily basic wages||Average daily net earnings|
|Roving Tenters .||M||184||P||8||0||13||4||2||2||4|
|Frame Doffers .||M||130||T||8||0||9||2||1||13|
|Ring Double Siders ,||M||419||T||8||1||1||0||2||5||6|
|Ring Full Siders||M||422||T||8||0||12||10||2||0||10|
|Pirn Winders||M||276||P||7 1/2||0||9||11||I||13||3|
|Grey Winders .||M||277||P||7 1/2||0||11||9||I||15||a|
|Cone Winders .||M||269||P||7 1/2||0||10||0||I||13||5|
|Weavers (Two-loom) .||M
Considering the frequency distribution of the workers in the various categories of basic wages it is seen that 5.86 per cent. fall in the wage category below as. 8 per day, 18.31 per cent. in the category as. 8 and under as. 10, 14.07 per cent. in the category as. 10 and under as. 12, 11.97 per cent. in the category as. 12 and under as. 14, 7.56 per cent. in the category as. 14 and under Re. 1 and the rest or 42.23 per cent. in the category Re. 1 to Rs. 2 and over. As regards net earnings, nearly half the workers are to be found in the earnings groups Rs. 1-13-0 to Rs. 2-4-0 per day. The percentage of those drawing between Rs. 2-4-0 and Rs. 3 and over per day comes to 41 .72 per cent. of the total. None of the mills has an incremental scale of pay for the operatives, although one of the bigger units gives annual promotions in deserving cases by earmarking certain higher posts for promotion. Excepting one unit which pays dearness allowance on a diminishing graded scale of income, the rest pay at a flat rate per month. The highest rate of dearness allowance was Rs. 32 per month in the Delhi Cloth Mills, the two others paying about Rs. 30 to Rs. 31-12-0 at the time of the enquiry. One unit which is a member of the Bombay Millowners'
Association pays clearness allowance at the rate fixed by it from time to time for operatives of member mills. One of the bigger mills has a system of paying a production bonus in certain departments while one unit pays a good attendance bonus of as. 8 per week for full attendance. The Delhi Cloth Mills have been paying to their workers both an annual and a quarterly bonus. In addition to these, rewards of Rs. 5 to Rs- 10 are given to each operative on festival days. Special rewards are also given at the discretion of the management to deserving workers. The annual bonus paid in 1944 amounted to Rs. 45 per worker and was given irrespective of the length of service or any other condition. The quarterly bonus given in October 1944 amounted to Rs. 25 if taken in cash and Rs. 27 if deposited in the company's Provident Fund or Savings Bank. The other large unit pays an annual bonus on the same basis and conditions as the Bombay Millowners' Association. One of the smaller units has given no bonus while the other makes an ex-gratia payment of Rs. 6 during Diwali and Holi holidays. The wage period in all these units is a month.
In the big units of the industry at Lahore, there are considerable variations both in the basic wages and earnings of workers in all important occupations. The table below shows the wages and earnings in selected occupations. The wage data which relates to the months of March and April 1944 shows that drawing and slubbing tenters have an average basic wage of about Rs. 1-5-0 per day, inter-tenters averaging Rs. 1-1-1 and roving tenters Re. 0-14-3. Doffers, both ring and frame, get an average basic wage of about Re. 0-7-4 per day. One loom weavers get as. 15 per 'day while two-loom weavers make Rs. 1-9-5 per day from their basic wage rates. The average wage of a cooly is in the neighbourhood of Re. 0-10-7:—
Wages and Earnings (weighted averages) of Cotton Mill Workers in Lahore in selected occupations in March and April 1944
|Occupation||Sex||Piece or time rate||Number of hours of work||Number of workers||Average daily basic wages||Average net earnings|
|Roving Tenter .||M||P||9||33||0||14||3||1||7||10|
|Half Piecer||- M||T||9||31||0||8||8||1||3||3|
|Frame Doffer .||M||T||9||55||0||7||5||I||1||1|
|Weaver [Two loom)||M||F||9||128||I||9||5||2||7||7|
|Weaver (One and Two|
The frequency of wages and earnings shows that 11.23 per-cent. of the workers receive a basic wage of less than as. 8 per day, 37.67 per teat. between as. 8 and as. 12, 23.05 per cent. between as, 13 and a rupee, while 28.03 per cent. receive a wage which is a rupee and above per day. As regards earnings, no worker earns less than as. 12 per day, 15-43 per cent. earn between as. 12 and a rupee, 45.41 per cent. between Re. 1 and Rs. 1-8-0, 22-75 per cent. between Rs. 1-8-0 and Rs. 2, while 16.41 per cent, earn between Rs. a and Rs. 2-12-0. Unlike many other centres of the industry in the country, considerable changes have occurred in the basic wage structure since August 1939 and it is reported that as compared to the pre-war period, basic wages have gone up by 18 to 20 per cent. At the time of the enquiry, dearness allowance was being paid in one unit at the rate of as. 5 per day while in another unit a sliding scale was adopted which varied from 100 per cent. of the basic wage if the wage was up to Rs. 10 per month to 29.6 per cent., if the basic wage was Rs. 75 per month. In the third unit those drawing up to Rs. 20 per month received an allowance of Rs. 8-8-0 per month. The largest unit at Lahore paid no bonus of any kind. One unit paid an annual profit bonus for the year ending 31st March 1943 equal to 1 1/2 times the monthly earnings. About 50 per cent. of the workers were benefited.
A wage census relating to the month of April, 1944 was conducted in the mill at Lyallpur and the following table shows the basic wages and earnings of workers in 16 selected important occupations :—
Wages and Earnings (weighted averages) of Cotton Mill Workers in Lyallpur in selected occupations in April 1944
|Average daily Basic Wages earned||Average earnings
allowances and bonuses.
|Roving Tenter .||M||P||8||32||0||11||10||2||1||1|
|Full Sider .||M||T||8||439||0||13||5||2||0||1|
|Grey Winder||M||P||8 & 9||116||0||8||10||I||10||7|
|Colour Winder .||M||P||9||6||0||8||1||I||9||4|
|One Loom Weaver||M||P||9||107||0||11||6||I||12||5|
|Two Loom Weaver .||M||P||9||871||I||6||1||2||6||10|
|M||T||8 & 9
It will be seen that the average daily basic wage of female reelers is Re. 0-6-9, of ring doffers Re, 0-8-5, of grey winders Re. 0-8-10, of inter and roving tenters about Re. 0-11-11, of drawing and slubbing tenters about a rupee and of two loom weavers Rs, 1-6-1 Considering the frequency of wages and earnings, it is seen that only 5.80 per cent. of the workers receive a wage between as. 6 and as. 8, 30.91 per cent. receive a wage between as. 8 and as. 12, 24.65 per cent, between as. 12 and a rupee and 38 .64 per cent. over Re. 1. With the exception of a few tenters all those having a basic wage of a rupee or more per day are two-loom weavers, As regards earnings, no worker in this factory earns less than Rs. 1-8-0 per day ; 36.93 per cent. earn between Rs. 1-8-0 and Rs. 2; 13.11 per cent. earn between Rs. 2 and Rs. 2-4-0 ; and the remainder (49.98 per cent.) earn between Rs. 2-4-0 and Rs. 2-8-0. A basic minimum wage of Rs. 12-8-0 per month both for males and females has been laid down. The workers in the spinning department are paid 9 hours' wages for 8 hours' work. In addition to the basic wage a dearness allowance at a flat rate of Rs. 28 per month is granted to all workers who put in full attendance. There is also a system of paying a reward for efficient work and the amount paid varies form as, 8 to Rs. 4 per month. Owing to the liberal scale of dearness allowance, the lowest average daily earning, namely, of colour winders, is Rs. 1-9-4, At highest being Rs. 2-5-8 in the case of double siders. Two types of bonuses, namely, quarterly and annual are also paid to the workers. A bonus at the rate of Rs. 17-0-0 for full attendance during the quarter ending 30th June 1944 was paid subject to the condition that 12 days' absence during the quarter would be excused and that proportionate deduction in the bonus would be made for absence exceeding 12 days. For the year 1942-43 the annual bonus was paid at the rate of Rs. 55 to those who were on the roll on the day of the payment of the bonus and had remained on the roll for the whole year.
(viii) C. P. and Berar (Ahola and Nagpur)
Owing to considerable unrest in the industry, particularly in regard to the question of wages, the C. P. Government had to appoint several enquiry committee once 1934. The basic wages in the industry vary from unit to unit at Nagpur and also at Akola and, what is most striking, they also vary in the five different units of the same mill at Nagpur. In addition to wages, there is a system at Nagpur of paying different kinds of allowances such as good attendance bonus, long service attendance, night shift allowance etc. As Table 60 shows, the earnings per day of drawing tenters in Nagpur average Rs. 1-15-6, of ring doffers Rs., 1-7-8, of male ring single siders Rs. 1-13-11, of female winders Rs. 1-6-8, of female reelers Rs. 1-6-2, one- loom weavers Rs. 1-14-0, of two- loom weavers Rs. 2-6-9 and of coolies Rs. 1-10-1.
FN 18—2 M of Lab. 56.
Earnings (weighted averages) of Cotton Mill Workers in Nagpur in Selected Occupations in January 1944
|Occupation||Sex||Piece or||per shift||Number||Average|
|Time||hours of||of||daily net|
|Drawing Tenter||M||P/T||9||372||1 15 6|
|Roving Tenter ,||M||P/T||9||166||15 4|
|Ring Doffer||M||T||9||1,426||7 8|
|Single Sider||M||T||9||2.653||13 11|
|Winder .||F||P||9||605||6 8|
|Weaver—One Loom||M||P/T||9||3.834||14 0|
|Weaver—Two Looms||M||P||9||1,122||2 6 9|
The wage level at Akola is appreciably lower than that at Nagpur, as will be seen from the following frequency table showing the earnings at Nagpur and Akola —
Frequency Table showing the Earnings in Nagpur and Akola in January
Percentage of workers whose average daily net earnings were:—
|Re. 1/- to Rs. 1/4||1/4/- to 1/8/-||1/8/-to 1/12/-||1/12/-to 2/-||2/ to- 2/4/-||2/4- to 2/8||2/8- and above.|
In the centres in the C.P., dearness allowance is linked with the cost of living index number, published by the Commissioner of Labour, Nagpur. In January 1944, when the cost of living index number of Nagpur stood at 287, the allowance of a worker attending full-time amounted to Rs. 27-8-0. The mills at Nagpur and Akola paid a profit bonus for 1943-44 equal to 1/4 of the total earnings of the workers. The largest unit of the industry in Nagpur pays a long service bonus at the rate of Re. 1 per month to those who have put in five years' service or more and at the rate of Rs. 2 per month to those who have put in 10 or more years of service. All the mills pay a regularity bonus of Rs. 18 per year. Both at Nagpur and at Akola, the wage period is a month.
As a result of the recommendations of a Committee appointed by the State, a scheme of standardization of wages in some occupations has been introduced. Two of its provisions are that the mills paying more than the standard rate should not scale down their rates and that the mills except one should pay to two-loom weavers with an efficiency of 76 per cent., Rs. 38 per month for 26 days* work. In spite of the introduction of the scheme, however, the results of the Wage Census relating to the month
of March 1944 show that there are slight variations in the basic wages in the different units at Indore. The following table gives the weighted averages of wages and earnings in the Indore mills —
Wages and Earnings (weighted averages) of Cotton Mill Workers in Indore in Selected Occupations in March 1944.
|Average daily basic wages||Average daily net earnings
|Drawing Tenter .||M||P||10||401||1||0||4||2||8||3|
|Roving Tenter .||U||P||10||440||0||15||2||2||7||4|
|Ring Warp Sider||M||C||10||721||0||9||II||2||1||9|
|Ring Weft .Sider||M||T||10||696||0||10||2||2||2||1|
|Ring Tarwalla .||M||T||10||68||0||10||3||a||1||9|
|Colour Winder .||M||P||10||38||0||13||2||3||4||8|
|Ditto . .||F||P||10||54||0||7||9||2||0||1|
|Weaver (One Loom) .||M||P||10||993||0||13||3||1||4||8|
|Weaver (Two Looms)||M||P||10||5,197||I||4||9||2||12||2|
All the mills have been paying dearness allowance since July 1940. The allowance is based on the three-monthly average of the cost of living index numbers for Bombay, Ahmedabad and Sholapur. For the quarter ending 30th September 1944 the average of the indices was 258 and the monthly allowance amounted to Rs. 30-9-0 per worker for 26 days' attendance. A frequency of wages and earnings per day shows that 24 - 35 per cent. of the workers have. a basic wage which is under as. 8, 22.58 per cent. between as. 8 and as. 12, 12-43 per cent. between as.12 and a rupee 10.86 per cent. between Re. 1 and Rs. 1-4-0 and 29.78 per cent. over Rs. 1-4-0. The majority of the workers in the last category are weavers. As regards earnings, only 0 .49 per cent. of the workers were earning between Rs. 1-8-0 and Rs- 1-12-0 per day no worker earning less than Rs. 1-8-0 per day. The percentage of those earning between Rs. 2-12-0 and Rs. 3 was 18.27. Most of the mills pay a bonus in one form or another. All the mills in Indore paid a profit bonus for the year 1943 amounting to 1/4 of the aggregate basic earnings of the workers. The wage period in all the mills is the calendar month and wages are usually paid before the 10th of the succeeding month.
A wage census relating to the month of March 1944 was conducted in selected important occupations in all the units. As between unit and unit there are slight differences in the basic wage rates and one unit definitely pays higher wages than the other three. The following table contains information regarding basic wages and earnings in selected occupations:—
Wages and Earnings (weighted averages) of Cotton Mill Workers in Baroda in Selected Occupations in March 1944
|Occupation||Sex||Piece or time rate||Number of hours of work||Number of workers||Average daily basic wages||Average daily net earnings|
|Rs, a. p.||Rs. a. p.|
|Drawing Tenter .||M||P||9,10||128||0 14 9||2 13 11|
|Slubbing Tenter||M||P||9,10||42||0 15 5||2 14 8|
|Inter Tenter||M||P||9,10||77||0 14 8||2 14 5|
|Roving Tenter .||M||P||9,10||189||0 12 8||2 12 3|
|Mule Spinner||M||T||9,10||1, 064||0 14 0||2 13 I|
|Ditto .||F||T||9||11||0 13 5||3 12 7|
|Frame Doffer||M||T||9, 10||211||076||266|
|Ring Doffer||M||T||9, 10||575||075||265|
|Grey Winder||M||P||10||182||092||2 9 3|
|Colour Winder .||M||P||9,10||10||0 11 I||2 10 2|
|Ditto .||F||P||9||82||0 II 2||292|
|Cheese Winder .||M||P||10||3||0 13 9||2 12 6|
|Ditto .||F||P||9||10||0 11 3||2 8 3|
|Reeler||M||P||10||10||0 7 1||2 5 10|
|Ditto .||F||P||9||42||077||2 6 I|
|Weaver [Two looms)||M||P||9, 10||2, 201||1 6 10||357|
|Cooly||M||T||9,10||441||0 10 3||287|
It will be seen that among the process operatives the highest paid occupation is that of two-loom weavers, their average basic wage being Rs. 1-6-10 per day and their average net earnings Rs. 3-5-7. Ring doffers get an average daily wage of 0-7-5 per day, their average daily earnings being Rs. 2-6-5. The following table shows the frequency of wages and earnings:—
Frequency Table showing percentage of Workers in different Income Groups in Baroda Mills.
Total No. of Workers (5, 485)
|Income groups||Percentage to total|
|Basic Wages||Net earnings|
|Under As. -/4/-|
|As. 4 and under As. 8||19. 24||..|
|As.8 and under As .12,||14.40||..|
|As. 12 and under Re. 1/-||22.28|
|Rs. 1/- and under Rs. 1/4/-||3.87|
|Rs. 1/4/- and under Rs. 1/8/-||26.72|
|Rs. 1/8/- and under Rs. 1/12/-||13.49|
|Rs. 1/12 and under Rs. 2/-|
|Rs. 2/- and under Rs. 2/4/-|
|Rs. 2/4/- and under Rs. 2/8/-||22.92|
|Rs- 2/8/- and under Rs. 2/12/-||.||11.21|
|Rs. 2/1 2/- and under Rs. 3/-||23. 54|
|Rs. 3/- and over||.||42. 33|
From the above table it is clear that not a single worker earns less than Rs. 2-4-0 per day. The percentage of those earning between Rs. 2-4-0 and Rs. 2-8-0 is 22.92, of those earning between Rs. 2-8-0 and Rs. 2-12-0 is 11.21, of those between Rs. 2-12-0 and under Rs. 3 is 23-54, while as many as 42.33 per cent. of the total are in the earning group Rs. 3 and over. The latter are all weavers. The wage scale in Baroda is largely influenced by Ahmedabad. Since 1942 clearness allowance is being paid on a uniform basis, the rate of the allowance being 75 per cent. of that paid in Ahmedabad. The highest amount of clearness allowance paid was Rs. 57-12-6 in December 1943, while in June 1944 it amounted to Rs. 44-15-9, per month. The workers in the Baroda mills get an annual war bonus. It is paid at a certain percentage of the basic wages, this percentage being 23 in 1942 and 25 in 1943. Some mills also pay attendance and production bonus. There are different wage periods for piece and time workers. Those on piece rates are paid on a hapta basis, two haptas constituting a calendar month. Thus they receive payment twice a month, once on the 9th and again on the 24th. Time-rated workers receive wages only once a month, usually on the 9th or 10th of the month.
There are considerable variations in the wages as between unit and unit in Bangalore. The following table shows the wages and earnings in selected occupations in the cotton mills at Bangalore during the month of January 1944:—
Wage and Earnings (weighted averages) in Selected Occupations in January 1944 in the three big Cotton Mills at Bangalore.
At the time of the enquiry only four out of the six units were paying dearness allowance which was linked with the official costs of living index number published by the Mysore Government. There is only a slight variation in the rate of the allowance paid by the larger units. In July 1945) the Bangalore cost of living index number stood at 199 and the rate of the allowance worked out to Rs. 19-10-6 per month. The smaller units pay as dearness allowance only about half the amount paid by the larger units. Some of these concerns give an allowance of one to two annas per day to night shift workers who are also supplied with a free cup of tea. In the largest unit of the industry, half yearly bonus was given to all permanent employees at the rate of the declared dividend which in 1943 was 15 per cent. of their earnings. All permanent and temporary workers with six months' service are also paid War Savings Bonus at the rate of five per cent. of their earnings and the amount is credited to their account in the Post Office Savings Bank. In the other two large units, half yearly bonus is paid only to permanent workers at 10 per cent. of the actual earned wages during the six months to which the bonus relates. The smaller units do not pay any bonus. In the larger units of the industry, the wage period is the English calendar month but in the smaller concerns it is either a week or a fortnight.
(xii) Cochin State
A wages census was conducted in three units in Cochin State for the month of April 1944 and the following table contains the results of the census for important selected occupations —
Wages and Earnings (weighted averages) in April 1944 in Selected Occupations in three Cotton Mills in Cochin State
|Occupation||Sex||Piece or time
|Number of hours of work per shift||Number of workers||Average daily basic||wages||earned||Average daily||net||earnings|
TABLE 67-- contd.
|Single Loom Weaver||F .||P||8||232||0||5||0||0||10||8|
|Two Loom Weaver||M||P||8||269||0||10||I||I||3||3|
It will be seen from the table that in no case does the average basic wage 01 a tenter exceed Re. 0-8-11 and is Re. 0-5-10 per day in the case of drawing tenters on time-rates. Women drawing tenters have an average basic wage of as. 3-9 only. The average daily wage of a single loom weaver is as. 5 only in the case of women and as. 0-6-2 in the case of men. Two loom weavers get on an average as. 0-10-1 per day. A peculiarity in Cochin is that women are employed both in the ring, spinning and the weaving departments. In Trichur, dearness allowance was paid at the time of the enquiry at the rate of 120 per cent. of the basic wages. In Pudukad, on the other hand, the rate of the allowance was 100 per cent. of the basic wages. The mill at Trichur paid a bonus at the rate of two months' basic wages for 1943 and 1944. On the other hand, an annual prosperity bonus of 3 1/2 months' wages, including dearness allowance, was paid in Pudukad for the same years. In addition to the extremely low level of wages in the Cochin State, One of the mills was not working to full capacity on account of shortage of power, and for part of the day the machinery had to be kept idle. This affected the earnings of the workers.
Frequency Table showing Average Daily Basic Wages of Workers in Cotton Mills Surveyed in India (excluding Bombay Provinces) in 1944.