Labour Investigation Committee (1946)||
In regard to the labour employed in the Ports, it is found that except in the port of Karachi, there are no regular scales of pay for workers in the other ports. In the Port of Bombay, both skilled and unskilled workers are on daily rates of pay, this being the case also in the Ports.
of Madras and Cochin. In regard to labour engaged in loading and un-loading of cargo, the Port authorities in Bombay have laid down that a labourer (Toliwalla), must be paid a minimum wage of Rs. 1-12-0 per day. Similar labour in the Calcutta Port has now been placed on a monthly rate of Rs.18 plus dearness allowance of Rs. 14. The labourers employed in the Calcutta Port for loading and unloading also get a food concession amounting to about Rs. 6 per month. In Madras, where the Retainer system has been introduced, loading and unloading coolies earn between Rs. 35 and Rs. 40 per month. In Karachi the employees are either daily or monthly rated. The basic rate of unskilled labourers in Karachi was As. 12 per day before the War but is now As. 14 per day. The loading and unloading of cargo in Karachi Port is done by stevedore labour. In Cochin, where this type of labour is employed through a contractor, the workers get a daily wage of about As. 10. Among skilled and semi-skilled workers attached to workshops in Ports, the wage rates appear to be the highest in Bombay. The scales of dearness allowance granted to Port employees are except in the case of Calcutta, lower than those prevailing in important industries in the cities in which the Ports are situated. Most of the Port authorities, in addition to paying a dear-ness allowance, have made excellent arrangements for supplying food-grains and other necessities of life at concession rates and the value of this concession varies from Rs. 6 to Rs. 9/6 per month per worker. While considering the question of wages of employees in port a development arising out of war conditions may here be referred to. In the Ports of Calcutta and Madras, a large proportion of the employees have been "militarised", and such workers, in addition to their wages, receive compensatory allowance at 25 per cent. of wages plus rations, the money value of which amounts to about Rs. 20 per month. When such personnel is demilitarised, as it shortly will be, there would be an appreciable fall in their earnings. In Bombay the workers employed direct by the Port are paid monthly. Toliwalla labour is either paid daily or when loading and unloading work in a particular ship is completed or monthly. All Toliwallas give advances against wages due. Workers in the port of Calcutta are paid monthly on the basis of all the days in the month including Sundays and holidays. In Karachi the system is of daily, weekly and monthly payment for different categories of workers. Monthly rated workers are paid monthly and daily rated weekly in the Port of Cochin. Fining in the Port of Bombay is not heavy. In Cochin no fines are imposed. In Bombay considerable over-time was being worked during the period of our enquiries owing to the conditions created by the war. This was so in other ports as well. Generally overtime is paid for to these to whom the Factories Act does not apply at a varying rates.