M. Joshi, R.R. Bakhale, etc. resulted in the
or more accurately the Royal Commission on Labour, under the chairmanship
of John Henry Whitley, was set up in 1929.
The commission, which submited its report in 1931, consisted of eleven
members, six of them being Indians, viz. Srinivas S. Sastri, Ibrahim
Rahimtoola, Kabeer-ud-Din Ahmed, G. D. Birla, N. M. Joshi and D. Chaman
Lall. It was to inquire into the existing conditions of labour in industrial
undertakings and plantations in India.
The commission made the following recommendations:
A policy of standardised wages should be adopted in the Bombay cotton
mills, and in the jute industry also early steps should be taken in that direction
both for time and piece workers.
In order to promote cordial relations between managements and employees,
three measures were suggested—the development of stable trade unions,
appointment of labour officers, and formation of works committees. It also
recommended the appointment of conciliation officers to bring about
settlements between parties in the earlier stages of disputes.
Other subjects dealt by the commissions were transport services; public
works contracts; fines and deductions; compensation; recruitment of abour
for tea gardens in Assam, in mines as well as the railways; labour legislation;
working conditions in factories and unregistered factories.
Except for the appointment of conciliation officers, which provision was
made in the Trade Disputes (Amendment) Act, 1938, nothing was done for a
long time to implement the recommendations of the commission.
Fourth Stage (1935–39) In the fourth stage union activities were revived
and there was also an increase in strikes. There are some reasons for the
revival of the union activities during this period:
The Provincial Congress Ministries, which had come into existence with
the Government of India Act of 1935, had adopted a policy of keeping
industrial peace not by suppressing the labour organisations and denying their
demands, but by prescribing minimum standards of living and general rights
The Act of 1935 provided for the election of labour representative
through labour or trade union constituencies.
A change of attitude of the employers also encouraged the growth of