Quality of Labor
Quality of Labor
the degree of complexity, intensity, and difficulty of labor.
Under capitalism the quality of labor, being another expression of the quality of labor power, is reflected spontaneously in wages. The level of wages in the labor market is influenced by the proletariat’s class struggle for its own economic interests and depends on the ratio between the supply and the demand for labor power of a particular quality.
Under socialism, in accordance with the economic law of distribution on the quantity and quality of labor, labor quality is expressed in wages by means of the rate and bonus system. Increased wages for higher quality labor result because this labor creates more value in a set amount of working time than lower quality labor does.
In most of the socialist countries the basic tool for differentiating wages according to the quality of labor is the wage rate (tariff) system. All jobs performed by workers are divided according to their complexity into grades of the wage rate schedule. The schedule is given in rate and skills reference books; the schedules are worked out by summary and analytic methods and ratified in a centralized manner. With the summary method the degree of complexity of the job is determined by commissions of experts on the basis of the full set of factors that characterize the overall complexity of a job. The analytic method is more precise because it breaks the labor process down into individual work functions. As a rule the complexity of jobs analyzed according to its functions is compared by evaluating them on the basis of a point system. Rate-skill reference books are also used to distribute workers to different grades of the rate schedule according to their skills. Each grade of the wage rate schedule has a certain wage factor that is multiplied by the wage rate of the first grade to determine the rate of the particular grade. When a worker improves his skills, he is awarded a higher grade and assigned to more complex work. The wages of engineering-technical personnel and salaries of office workers are differentiated according to the complexity of their labor by means of salary schedules.
The difference in the intensity of the labor of piece-rate workers and time-rate workers is reflected in wages by differentiating wage rates (taking into account the forms and overall level of remuneration). Labor performed under difficult or unhealthy conditions is normally paid at higher rates.
To reward more intensive labor with increased earnings, piece-rate workers are paid according to fulfillment of output norms; all production workers, engineering-technical personnel, and office workers have bonus systems of various kinds. Workers receive bonuses from both the wages fund and the material incentive funds, with engineering-technical personnel and office workers receiving bonuses primarily from the enterprise’s material incentive funds.
E. I. KAPUSTIN