Report on Labour Conditions in the Tram & Bus Services||
In Hie case of buses, there are no regular ctoied days, in certain cases even for the workshops ; but 2 to 4 off-days by turn are allowed every month. Best interval of a few minutes after each trip iu specified on paper, but it- has been noticed that, with an abnormal growth in the volume of traffic, it cannot be i'ully availed of. Shifts are either straight of 8 to 8£ hours each or double, split up into two parts.
The conditions of tramway workshops are fairly satisfactory. The! buildings are pucca, well-lighted and well-ventilated. But what is really disappointing is that facilities like provision for water, rest shelters, urinals, latrines, etc., at different depots, stands, stops, stages, stations and termini, are neither, adequate nor satisfactory.
Medical facilities in the shape of dispensaries or arrangements with private practitioners exist wi e^il the tram companies. Medicines are administered free to the employees and their families. Serious eases are sent to the civil hospitals. There is a medical examination at the time of new appointments, but the arrangements for periodical examinations and follow up health care are not satisfactory. Usually, ailments are of ordinary nature. Is'oiie of them can b.' considered to be occupational in character. It is, however, alleged that drivers are likely to fall an easy prey to asthma, tuberculosis, deterioration of eyesignt and swelling of legs. The bus workers are the greatest sufferers in this respect, for no medical facilities are specifically provided for them.
Except in two centres there are n:o canteens in any of the tram or services. Grainshops, however, supply food-stuffs and a few other household articles at or below market rates. Free primary education is imparted to v.'erkers' children by Dalmias in Karachi only.
Tram labour is organised and trade unions have to their credit some achievements, such as increase ini wages and allowances, reinstatement of the victimised operatives, etc. There have been about half a dozen strikes, most of which related to wages and were more or less successful. A works committee functions in one of the units, but it is looked down upon by trade unions for it is alleged to undermine their influence.
The tramway workshops come under the Factories Acts, abstracts of which are duly displayed there. The possibility of accidents in buses and trams is fairly great. For example, in Madras alone, it is estimated that there is one accident involving one bus every other day.
The benefits of provident fund are extended by all the four tramway companies. Gratuities are given by employers at their discretion in Bombay and Madras trams only. Pensions are unknown.
The M1 owing tables indicate some of the salient conclusions in respect of the civil condition, indebtedness and housing of workers : —
tabib CXI. Showing sampled workers (in percentages) in different centres.