Work and Pay in the United States and Japan

By Clair Brown; Yoshifumi Nakata et al. | Go to book overview

long career ladders reflect management's response to a system of lifetime employment with age-based pay by ensuring worker's productivity and increasing their responsibilities as they gain experience. The SET pay system in Japan rewards and supports security, employee involvement, and training in a system that produces less overall inequality than exists in the United States.


APPENDIX: CALCULATION OF STANDARD CAREER PATHS

U.S. Companies

Together Manufacturing

Data sources . Hourly pay data are taken from the 1991 and 1994 United Auto Worker contracts with Together Manufacturing. The contracts, along with discussions with Together Manufacturing's community relations department, provided the understanding of the career progressions.

Career ladder estimations . The Together Manufacturing union contract specifies two categories of workers: general production and skilled trades (general maintenance and tool and die). The paths illustrated in Figure 4.1 show typical wage progressions for various promotional paths, all based on a forty-hour work week. Entry-level step increases occur for production workers during the first thirty-six months of employment at a rate of six increases at just under $1 each. Workers beginning in skilled trades receive one entry-level step increase of over 17 percent after ninety days. Apart from across-the-board increases, production or skilled trade workers can increase their wages by $0.60 per hour with a promotion to team leader (after four to eight years for production and skilled trade workers, respectively). Beyond this, further increases in pay come from overtime, COLAs, a factorywide bonus related to quality and productivity targets, and new contracts.

Workers who wish to become team leaders usually are able to do so after two to three years with the firm, although this time period can vary considerably. About twenty to thirty general production workers per year enter the apprenticeship program, which lasts four years; completion of this training results in promotion to skilled trade status.

The 1994 contract lowered entry wages for production workers compared to the 1991 contract but extended the entry-level ladder from three increases of approximately $0.90 each over the first eighteen months to six increases of around $0.95 each over the initial three years. Skilled trade wages increased 5 percent over those in the 1991 contract.


Hi-Tech

Data sources . The Hi-Tech career paths are based on documentation provided to us by Hi- Tech. The internal documents reviewed included charts of typical career progressions, durations of employees at each job grade and at each tenure level, and hourly pay by job category. Figure 4.2a shows typical career pays for operators, operator/technicians, and engineers.

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Work and Pay in the United States and Japan
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Preface v
  • Contents ix
  • 1 - Comparing Employment Systems 3
  • Note 20
  • 2 - Security 21
  • Notes 61
  • 3 - Employee Involvement and Training 67
  • Introduction 67
  • Summary: Employee Involvement and Training in the Set Model 94
  • Notes 95
  • 4 - Pay Systems, Career Paths, and Earnings Inequality 97
  • Introduction 97
  • Summary and Major Findings 130
  • Appendix: Calculation of Standard Career Paths 132
  • Appendix: Calculation of Standard Career Paths 134
  • 5 - Employers and Unions 137
  • Notes 156
  • 6 - National Wage Determination in Japan 158
  • Summary 189
  • Notes 190
  • 7 - Conclusion 191
  • References 209
  • Index 227
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