V. I.   Lenin





Fred. W. Taylor, Shop Management (translation and additions by Wallichs). Second edition, Berlin, 1912.

Wallichs visited America in 1911. An example “from the Bethlehem steel plant” (p. 17):

now formerly
Total cost of transporting 924,000 tons 130,000 280,000 marks
Cost per ton 0.139 0.304 ”
Earnings per worker 7.80 4.80 ”
Tons transported per worker 57 16!!!

Another example (in marks) (p. 32)

formerly now
Daily wage 10.0 14.50
Machine costs 14.0 14.00
__ __
Total daily costs 24.00 28.50
Costs ÷5 { items per day } ÷10
per item =4.80 =2.85

sic!! || “It should be borne in mind that at first a certain resistance is to be expected, especially from the backward section of the workers, who will always try by persuasion to prevent piece-workers from reaching the highest productivity” (28).

“...the difficult period of transition from the slow pace of ordinary work to the high speed which is the leading characteristic of good management” (29)....

p. 9: “The main aim of systematic go-slow practices is to keep the shop management ignorant of the potential productivity of machines and workers.

“This go-slow technique is so universal that hardly a competent workman can be found in a large establishment with conventional wage systems who does not devote a consider able part of his time to studying just how slowly he can work and still convince his employer that he is going at a good pace” (9)....

!! || “Since 1883, the author has been introducing his method in the most diverse United States industries, and has never had to face strikes. He believes that, under his system, strikes are inevitable only if the majority of the workers belong to a union whose rules are so inflexible that members are allowed to work only on terms laid down by the union” (25)....

Another example (p. 33 et seq.). Girls tested polished steel balls by hand, rejecting them as spoilage if roughnesses, etc., were found.

Observation, control and “time studies” were introduced and the best workers chosen, etc., etc. “It turned out that the girls spent a considerable part of their time talking, or actually doing nothing. The most negligent girls were set apart or, if incorrigible, dismissed” (35)....

(p. 35) formerly now
Results: number of girls 120 35
{ their weekly wage 15—19 marks 27—35 marks
working day 10 1/2 hours 8 1/2 hours
quality of work 100% 158%

“System of functions” of the foremen

  1. I) in the workshop
    1. 1. Organising foremen (of the work itself)
    2. 2. Foremen to adjust speed of work
    3. 3. Testing foremen
    4. 4. General supervisory foremen (order).
  2. II. in the office
    1. 1. Route Clerk—sets tasks for each shop
    2. 2. Instruction Card Clerk—specifies how the job is to be done
    3. 3. Time and Cost Clerk
    4. 4. Shop Disciplinarian (general supervision)

N.B. || It is a mistake to suppose that the factory works the better the fewer the number of its “non-productive” workers (productive physical labour; “non-productive = supervisors, etc., foremen, etc.). On the contrary.

p. 50 [§ 133 (281–83)]. The best factories have one “non-productive” to six or seven productive workers. The worst have one “non-productive” to eleven productive.

[[BOX ENDS: p. 63. In the excellent Tabor Manufacturing Co. (with about 100 workers; makers of instruments and moulding-machines), Wallichs found one office employee to three workers!!! ]]

p. 67. Conditions for “reform” ((time required for it =2–4 years!!)) ... “that a body of workers of exceptionally high productivity should be enlisted, who will work extra hard and receive extra high wages”...

...“that the number of supervisory foremen and officials should be at least doubled” (67).

(( Written reports at least in the form of printed index cards for each worker!! not to speak of foremen!! ))

||| ...“however, quite a long time is still needed before they (the workers) learn to stay steadily at their work and make every minute count. N.B. || Many of them, with the best of intentions, will fail in this and find that they have no place in the new organisation” (69).

N.B. || ...“the opportunity of becoming a foreman or senior worker has become far greater, for under the new conditions an increased number of them are required” (75).

(winning over and buying up workers by turning them into foremen)

| Time and motion studies are very difficult. A certain engineer (Sandford E. Thompson) (p. 81), for instance, spent six years conducting them in the building trades!!! He took every stop-watch observation himself and worked up and tabulated his data with the help of two assistants! ((Excavation, masonry, carpentry, cement work, plastering, and so on and so forth))

|| ! ...“the tables and descriptive matter for one of these trades alone take up about 250 pages”....

Further, by tenths of a second (p. 84) (special watches)—the smallest operations were studied (putting down a spade; taking up a wheel barrow; moving a wheel barrow; placing a wheel barrow; taking up a spade, etc., etc.), and measurement made (cubic metres) of the size of a wheel barrow, idem of a spade, etc., etc.

For measurement, the best (91) workers are to be chosen and paid a higher pay (promising an increase of pay)....

Yet another example: overhauling and cleaning of boilers. The author told his assistant to study this. The latter was a novice and did nothing. The author personally carried out the work, making a careful time study. It turned out that a great part of the time was lost owing to the “constrained position” of the workman (99). “Protective pads” were made “to fasten to the elbows, knees and hips, and special tools and appliances were made for the various work operations,” etc., etc. (100).

“The whole scheme [many pages: how to perform the work] was much laughed at when it first went into use”.... The result: cost of overhauling and cleaning of a set of boilers || 250 and 44 of 300 h.p. fell from 250 marks to 44 marks!!!

In the ten years the author worked at the Midvale Steel Works there were no strikes. The best workers did not join the unions, for they received the best (highest) pay.

| “The firm followed the policy of raising the wages of each employee on a suitable occasion and promoting all who deserved it. A careful record was kept of each man’s good points as well as his shortcomings, which was especially the duty of the foremen, so that justice could be done to each. When men throughout an establishment are paid according to their individual worth, it cannot he in the interest of those receiving high pay to join a union with the cheap men” (101).

There is a lot of talk about the unity of interests of the working class and the employers, etc. The author is for fines as the best disciplinary measure.... Fines for the benefit of the accident insurance fund ((from five pfennigs to 250 marks—the size of the fines both against officials and against oneself!!))....

Under capitalism
a “torture or a
conjuring trick
}} Wallichs’s supplementary chapter
(“Recent Successes”)—in all, he says,
about 60,000 workers in America
are working on the principles of the
reorganised institutions (well-thought-
out leadership) (109)....

Gilbreth introduced it into the work of bricklayers and raised the number of bricks laid per worker from 120 to 350 per hour (109) by reducing the number of operations from eighteen to five....

Congress has appointed a committee to study the Taylor system (109)....

of course! ||||| Very influential workers’ unions are against the Taylor system (110)....

(Wallichs): ...“The expression ‘well thought-out leadership’ is only a phrase, true!!! ||| the content of which is better denoted by ‘intensive productive activity’” (111–12) ...

Appendix. Discussion. Many maintain that Taylor is reckoning without his host: the workers’ organisations will not permit it (119, 116 and others).

p. 129: Oberlin Smith proposes teaching the Taylor system in the schools....




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