Labour Investigation Committee (1946)||
Among the major municipalities in India, the municipality of Bombay alone has laid down a fixed minimum wage for men, women and children of Rs. 25, Rs. 21, and Rs. 18, respectively The minimum wage for workers working in the drainage department is, however, Rs. 28 per month. A vast majority of the employees of the Municipal Corporation at Karachi have fixed scales of pay with graded promotions. The wage scales in Bombay and Karachi for staff other than workshop staff are the highest in the country. The Conservancy staff, which forms a large portion of municipal employees in most of the cities, get a wage of about Rs. 25 per month in Bombay, Rs. 21, in Karachi, but in places like Cawnpore, Nagpur, Lahore and Madras, their wages are low, being about Rs. 15 in Nagpur, Rs. 10-8-0 in Cawnpore, about Rs. 10 to Rs. 15 in Lahore and about Rs. 12 to Rs. 15 in Madras. All the city municipalities pay dearness allowance on the Provincial scale. In view of the very-unpleasant character of the duties which they are called upon to perform' there would appear to be a good case for a revision of the basic wages-of such employees. It might be noted, however, in this connection that municipal labour enjoys certain facilities such as leave, Provident Fund, etc., which are not always available to employees in private industry. Moreover, it has been reported from some of the centres that sweepers are usually able to add to their regular income by way of tips etc., from house holders. There is no standardisation of wages for the same occupation in the different departments of the municipalities and this is fruitful source of grievance. All the municipalities pay wages directly to the employees usually before the 10th of the month following the one for which they are due although in once case delays were found to occur and wages were not paid till about the 14th or 17th of the following month. The incidence of fining is not heavy but there are general complaints of fining being capricious. Some of the municipalities maintain no fine funds. It is noteworthy that the fine fund of the Bombay Municipality amounts to over five lakhs of rupees. The Payment of Wages Act does not apply to municipal labour except for municipal workshops registered under the Factories Act. Enquiries into conditions of Municipal labour show that most of the provisions of the Act are complied with by the municipalities and the workers representatives are anxious that the Act should be made applicable to all municipal labour. It would appear that there is much to be gained and nothing lost in doing so.