The British are traditionally more shy about pay than they are about sex. Jim Larkin, chief executive of Romac Industries, Seattle, has no time for such timidity. The pay of his 300 hourly paid workers is openly displayed: if they want a raise, their names, current pay, new demand and photo are posted on a bulletin board for all to see. Fellow workers then vote secretly, using a 0%-100% scale, on how much of the raise should be paid - the employees can ask for a foreman's recommendations, but are free to ignore these. Is the process fair? Though Larkin admits that an employee's popularity may sometimes weigh too much, he claims that management agrees with the votes in most cases. It also means managers avoid much hassle and more than a little odium. Which leaves just one interesting question. Who fixes management's rewards - and how?
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