Report on Labour Conditions in the Tram & Bus Services||
None'of the dwellings in each of the two categories had courtyards or any sul»-: sidiary rooms, other than habitable rooms. In employers' quarters, "«. verandahs at all were provided. Of one-room private dwellings, one only had a verandah. The remaining 7 two-room dwellings, however, had this amenity in each case. On the other hand, not oils among the private dwellings had kitchens. The percentage of employers' houses without kitchens was 46.2. This means that the great majority of occupants of the dwellings surveyed had tc do 1 heir cooking, in the absence of courtyards and verandahs, m most cases in their living rooms.
Another important and essential amenity, which is conspicuous by its absence iu all dwellings, is the bath-room. Latrines, however, were found to rxist in all houses. But in every case they were used in common. Not one house had an independent latrine. The position with regard to water supply was the same. In respect of lighting, 87.4 per cent, of employers' houses had. electricity laid in them as compared with 33.8 per cent, of private houses. In point of ventilation, the great majority of dwellings of both categories^ have been returned as satisfactory in this respect. But, with regard to drainage, only employers' houses had satisfactory arrangements.
Thus, it is only in the provision of kitchens, electricity, drainage and a gymnasium attached to onte of the blocks that employers' houses were superior to private houses. In respect of other amenities they are at par with others.
PART III. CALCUTTA-Bengal Province.
LABOUR CONDITIONS IN TRAMWAYS. Employment.
Tramway Company provides employment for a large number
of workers, both skilled and unskilled, in all its departments of which the main
three are :— ' . < , . !
(2) Engineering, - ;
(3) Permanent way and overhead cable.
The following table shows the number of men employed at the time of investigation in each of the above 3 departments":'-—•
number Percentage to
of hands total,
58-4 31-5 10-1
Permanent way ancl overhead cable
It will be noticed that the Traffic section employs more than half and the Engineering section almost one-third of the total labour force in the three above-men < ioned departments of the Company.
The Jevel of employment changed after the outbreak of war. The extension of lines to newly developed areas in the city could not be proceeded with on a large scale owing to tjhe shortage of materials anjl the priority given L1278DofL
fey Governing.t to war requirements in respect of cables, rails, etc. Petrol rationing, diminution in the numl.er of buses as a result of requisitioning f.>r A.K.l'. Military work and the phenomenal increase in the population (both civil and military) of the city in the last 2 or 3 years, have imposed a heavy strain on the tramway service by increasing the volume of passengers. Thus, rii enlarged demand for transport necessitated the employment of more hands, particularly in the traffic section.
Absenteeism among conductors aad drivers was on the increase as a result of the increased volume of work after the outbreak of war and this forced the Company to employ and to maintain a reserve force in excess of normal requirements to maintain the usual service. From comparative figures supplied by the Company, it has been found that for 3 mouths in 1939 the average number of conductors employed per month was 1,292 whereas the average number of conductors employed per month in 1944 was 2,307, which shows an increase of 79 percent, The number of drivers has risen from 706 in 1941 to 953 in 1944, i.e., by 35 percent. In ordinary times, the Company employed 18- percent of drivers and 22 percent of conductors in excess of normal requirements to maintain their service ; but the present emergency has forced them to keep 40 percent of drivers and 50 percent of conductors in reserve. The increase in employment figures in the Traffic Section is confined inaiuly to these two categories of workers.
There has not been" any substantial increase in employment in the Engineering Section since the, outbreak of war, as the number of cars has not increased. On the other hand, the Engineering Section has been depleted of some of its staff by military work and firms offering higher wages.
Frequent repairing of lines as a result of heavy traffic and absence of renewal lias necessitated the employment of more coolies and masons in recent years in the Permanent "Way Department.
The increase in the volume of employment in the different departments of the Company appears however to be of a permanent nature, as there is bound to be an expansion of the tramway system in the post-war period. One remarkable feature about employment in the Company is that in none of the departments are women, children or contract labour employed.
Time-rated and Piece-rated WvrJcers.—In none of the departments are men employed on piece-rate wages. The employers are of opinion that they have found time-rated payment to be satisfactory in the moulding shop at the Nonopukur Workshop. Workers also prefer time-rate to piece-rate payment.
Length of Senice.—Full details regarding the length of service of opera-tiv«s in the different sections of the concern are not available. The Company maintains service records, though not so systematically as to provide the necessary statistical information. On the whole, it may be said that workers do not leave employment frequently. Among 1;he Traffic staff, there are a large number who have a fairly long service to their credit. These men started from the lowest grade and were promoted to the highest.
Permanent and Temporary Workers.—Workers are classified into permanent and temporary categories. The majority of the workers are considered as permanent. Temporary hands are employed for special jobs or for general •ssistance when the work is heavy. In the Traffic Section, though there is some sort of classification of workers into ' permanent ' and ' temporary ', th3 line of demarcation is not very distinct. The only difference that exists is in respect of the ' Senior ' and the ' Junior ' group. The Senior group is termed ' permanent duty meu ' and the other group as ' reserve duty men '. The em is that a man, after passing from the training school, is taken in as a