Report on Labour Conditions in the Tram & Bus Services||
In the bus services, labour turnover was alarmingly high. In Madras alone, it was as high as 37.1 per cenit. in one case. It is attributed mainly to dismissals. Voluntary quits, prompted by availability of more lucrative alternative jobs, are not insignificant either. Retirements are rather unknown. The tramways fare comparatively better in this respect. In Karachi, for example, the labour turnover was not more than) 10 per cent. The Japanese bombing of the city was responsible for a large turnover in 1942 and 1943 in Calcutta.
Comparative figures of pre-war arid present rate of absenteeism were available only in Karachi. These show that it has been almost the same in both the years 1939 and 1943, being 13.3 per cent, and 13.4 per cent, respectively. Heavy incidence of sickness, non-availability of medicines, strain and fatigue caused by an abnormally high increase in the bulk of traffic leading to the desire to be absent on pay and festival days and Sundays and long distances of workers' Louses from the depots are stated to be some of the main eaases.
To fight against the present rate of turnover and absenteeism, standardisation of wages, allowances and bonuses in different units in the same centre introduction of provident fund benefits and similar other concessions, strietw restrictions on wrongful dismissals, victimisation and duty hours, improve ment jn working conditions, increase in welfare activities, insistance on diseharg* certificates and provisions for regular off days, leave, rest intervals and resery staff are suggested as some of the effective measures.
There are no standing orders governing the relations between the employer; and the employees in bus services excepting one unit each im Bombay an< Karachi. The tram companies have framed rules and regulations regardinj attendance, delay, absence, hours of work, wages, termination of service* provident fund, leave, etc.
Kecruitment is made by reference to waiting lists of candidates who con form to the criteria of physical fitness and education laid down by th managements. Vacancies are also filled by invitation) of applications throug newspapers, notices and labour exchanges. The employees are, in many casei asked to bring in suitable hands from among their relatives and friends Generally, the Manager or Agent is the appointing authority though, in tt recruitment of technical personnel, he is assisted by the chargeman,. The traj services in Calcutta, Madras and Bombay have their labour officers to look inl the grievances of the operatives, but it is reported that the part they play limited in its scope and that they are not popular. At the Dalmia cemei factory, Karachi, there is a labour superintendent, but he is not exclusive! meant for its bus workers. He is responsible for the welfare of all the Dalm employees. The Labour Officer of the B.E.S.T. also attends to its b workers.
Wages and earnings.—There
is no standardisation of wages 'and earning
and the ranges of variations are fairly great. This fact is revealed by tal
CX which gives, in a consolidated form, information about some of ti
occupations. : .