TITLE

THE RAILROADS' DUAL SYSTEM OF PAYMENT: A MAKE-WORK RULE?

AUTHOR(S)
Horowitz, Morris A.
PUB. DATE
January 1955
SOURCE
Industrial & Labor Relations Review;Jan55, Vol. 8 Issue 2, p177
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Rules of the labor union in the U.S. to protect members against actual or potential displacement resulting from technological change have often been criticized when they require the employment of additional men or prevent a reduction in labor requirements, as of January 1955. In this article, the author concludes that the make-work charge against the railroads' dual system of payment is in error. One of his major findings is that the system developed from an attempt to find an accurate means of relating service to compensation and that, in its actual operation, it is basically a piecework system adapted to the operating and technical characteristics of railroading. A make-work rule is defined as a working rule which shifts the supply curve of labor to the left through a reduction in the average output per man-hour. Where the elasticity of demand for labor in terms of labor costs is less than unity, the rule will result in an increase in employment. With this as a definition of the term, this article follows a procedure of analysis, which involves a study of the origin and development of this working rule, an analysis of the criticisms and defense of the rule and its functioning in practice, and then an application of the criteria of the definition of a make-work rule to the rule under analysis.
ACCESSION #
6475672

 

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