Labour Investigation Committee (1946)||
The wage position in the silk industry, particularly in the silk filatures can only be regarded as being dismal. The basic wage rate in some centres for certain occupations, such as reelers, are as low as annas five per day. la a factory in Bengal, a weaver was getting only as. 7 per day as basic wages and his total earnings for 22 working days amounted to not more than Rs. 10-15-0. In the silk industry in Kashmir, the wage rates are higher than those prevailing in, South India, although in the largest unit in Kashmir, the worker is not sure of full employment in the month. The difference in the wage rates between Kashmir and South India can be accounted for by the fact that while the bulk of the workers in South India are women, those in Kashmir are men. The existing wage level probably explains the large percentage of absenteeism which prevails in the industry. In one centre, it was openly stated by the management that the workers found it more remunerative to work on the roads than to work in a silk manufacturing concern. Out of the 38 establishments covered by the enquiry 32 paid dearness allowance at varying rates. Except in Bombay City,, in none of the other centres is the dearness allowance paid in this industry at all commensurate with the rise in prices. The establishments in Mysore pay Rs. 8 per month to adults and Rs, 5 to half-time workers. In Kashmir, 50 per cent. of the earned wages are paid by way of dearness allowance. In Bengal, the rate varies from as. 1 1/2 to as. 5 1/2 per rupee of the total earnings while in Bombay, where the allowance is linked to the official cost of living index number, it amounted at the time of the enquiry to about 13 annas 6 pies per day. The wage period is a month in Kashmir, Mysore and Bombay. In Madras, it is a fortnight. In Bengal it varies from concern to concern. The silk filatures pay daily, while the Silk factories pay weekly, fortnightly and monthly.