Labour Investigation Committee (1946)||
In the Match Industry, there is no standardization of wages; nor does one find the same rates of wages being paid in different units belonging to the same company. The nomenclature of occupations vary from factory to factory and it is a matter of considerable difficulty to compare the wage rates and earnings in different occupations of the industry. Table 102 shows the frequency of wages and earnings in the industry in different centres.
Frequency of Wages and Earnings of workers employed in the Match Factories surveyed in 8 centres in India
The table shows that the highest wage rates are paid in Bombay, Madras and Bareilly. Quite a large percentage of the workers in Calcutta are in the wage groups annas 12 and below. In Mysore, the Central Provinces and in the Ramnad district of the Madras Province, almost the whole of the labour force has a basic wage below annas 12 per day. Owing to the high rate of dearness allowance prevailing in Bombay, over 58 per cent. of the workers there have daily earning of Rs. 2 and over. In Lahore, the percentage of such workers is 18.7 only. The earning figures for Madras must be viewed in the light of the fact that the workers there get a substantial portion of the dearness allowance in kind which explains why in spite of high basic wage level, there are not many workers in the earning category of Rs. 2 and over per day. There is no uniformity either in regard to the policy or the scale for the payment of dearness allowance in the industry or even as between different units in the same centre or in units in the different centres belonging to the same company. Thus, at Ambernath, in the WIMCO match factory, dearness allowance is paid at the rate of nearly Rs. 30 per month at a flat rate to all the operatives while in the Madras factory belonging to the same management only a nominal cash allowance of Rs. 0-1-4 per rupee is paid and the rise in the cost of living is mainly met by supplying foodgrains etc., to the workers at pre-war rates. Some factories pay no dearness allowance at all, while others pay as low a dearness allowance as annas two per rupee of earnings. The wages and earnings figures for Ramnad stand out as being exceptionally low. In this connection it play, however, be pointed out that the industry there is run more on the lines of a cottage industry than a factory-industry and there are two towns in this district which are virtually match. towns where most of the factory work is done by hand and also taken home-for being completed by the members of the family. As agricultural pursuits, have ceased to be remunerative, these towns are more or less dependant on these factories and this has resulted in the workers being forced to accept extraordinarily low rates of wages. Moreover, there are a considerable number of women and children employed in these factories.