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The Pamphlet Collection of Sir Robert Stout: Volume 81

Gain-Sharing an Alternative

page 13

Gain-Sharing an Alternative.

But surely in the hands of an Arbitration Court seeking sincerely to apply it for the reasonable benefit of the workers, It can be made a most effective means of "gain sharing," It is suggested therefore that in addition to the needs wage to be now fixed as I have indicated, there should a progressive wage based on gain-sharing." This gain-sharing, (it will be observed, is sharing the gain or saving of the cost of production irrespective of the rate of profit realised by the employer, and is to be definitely distinguished from schemes of profit-sharing under which the amount of the bonus r dependent upon the realised profits (if any) of the businesses—an entirely different thing.

This scheme has been tried successfully in several great enterprises—tried, let it be remembered, in the absence of any State guarantee of fairness such as could be secured by the Arbitration Act. It was introduced in 1891 in the workshops of the Rand Drill Company at Sherbrooke, in Canada, by Mr F. A. Halsey. The essential features of Mr Halsey's plan consist in fixing on the basis of previous experience the time required to do a given piece of work, and offering the workman if he could get the job done in less than this standard time a premium for every hour saved in its execution. Mr Halsey took care to fix the standard time on the basis of what an average man and not a quick operative required for the performance of the job.