Labour Investigation Committee (1946)||
Except in certain factories in Gorakhpur and Darbhanga, the basic wages in the Sugar Industry have remained more or less constant as compared to the pre-war period. Almost all factories have, however, compensated the workers for the increase in the cost of living by the grant of dearness allowance. Contract labour which is employed mainly in the unloading of cane and loading of sugar bags, generally earns 5 to 10 per cent. less than the workers directly employed by the factories. With the exception of Gorakhpur, the basic wage does not fall below as. 4 per day in any centre. In Champaran, Darbhanga and Madras, there are some workers whose basic wages are between as. 4 and as. 6 and in Darbhanga the model basis wage also falls within this group. In the other centres, the wages of the majority of the workers are between as. 6 and as. 8 per day. The workers in Madras are fairly equally divided into two wage groups, namely, as. 6 to as. 8 and as. 8 to as. 10. As regards the net earnings of the workers, these are the lowest in Eastern U.P. and Northern Bihar, being between as. 8 to as. 12 per day. In Meerut and Ahmednagar, the model earning group is as. 12 but less than Re. 1. On the other hand, in Madras, the model earnings are between Re. 1 and Rs 1-4-0. The following table (Table 114) shows the basic wages and earnings in the sampled centres of the industry:—
Frequency of Basic Wages and Earnings in Sugar Factories
We found that the majority of the sampled units had adopted sliding scales of dearness allowance of which two each in Madras and Meerut varied with the official cost of living index numbers. Three of the units have adopted flat rates. The percentage of dearness allowance to wages varies from factory to factory. Generally, the higher the wages the lower the clearness allowance. In the lower wage catergories, the allowance is as high as 100 per cent. of wages at Champaran, 60 per cent. in Darbhanga and 75 per cent. in Gorakhpur. In the higher categories it is 5 per cent. of wages in some cases, the normal rate varying between 12 1/2 per cent. and 25 per cent. Some of the sampled factories in the United Provinces and Bihar pay from one to three months' basic wages as profit bonus. A unit in Meerut pays a supplementary ration allowance of Rs. 6 p.m. The wage period for all categories of workers in Darbhanga, Meerut and Gorakhpur is the calendar month and wages are paid within seven days of their becoming due. In Champnran the wage period for the daily paid staff is ten to fourteen days and wages are paid within three days of the expiry of the wage period. Similarly, in two units in Madras and one in Bombay the wage period for daily rated employees is a fortnight and wages are paid within four to seven days of their becoming due. It is understood that since the introduction of the Payment of Wages Act fining has gone down considerably and it is no longer an evil besetting workers in sugar factories.