A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |

MACHINE-CONTROLLED TIME. The time during a work cycle in which production is entirely dependent on machine performance.

MACHINE DOWNTIME. Time during a work shift when a machine is inoperable.

MACHINE HOUR. A unit of production used to measure capacity and utilization of machines based upon standard hourly performance expectations.

MACHINE IDLE TIME. Machine down time or time when equipment is unproductive during a work cycle or work shift.

MACHINE PACING. A condition under which the machine determines how fast the work must be done; therefore, the pace at which the employee works is determined by the machine.

MAINTENANCE OF BENEFITS. A clause in a collective bargaining agreement requiring benefits to be maintained at the current level for the term of the contract.

MAINTENANCE-OF-MEMBERSHIP CLAUSES. An arrangement provided for in a collective bargaining agreement whereby employees who are members of the union at the time the agreement is negotiated, or who voluntarily join the union subsequently, must maintain their membership for the duration of the agreement, or possibly, a shorter period, as a condition of continued employment. (See UNION SECURITY.)

MAJOR MEDICAL EXPENSE BENEFITS. Plan designed to insure workers against the heavy medical expenses resulting from catastrophic or prolonged illness or injury. If the benefit supplements the benefit payable by a basic health insurance plan (hospital, medical, or surgical), it is called a “supplementary” plan, otherwise, it is called a “comprehensive” plan. (See DEDUCTIBLE, HEALTH AND INSURANCE PLAN.) (CATASTROPHE INSURANCE)

MAKE-UP PAY. Allowances given by employers to incentive workers to make up differences between actual earnings and earnings at guaranteed rates or statutory minimum rates. At times, the term is also associated with the practice of permitting employees to earn a full week’s wages by making up for lost time.


MANAGEMENT. Term applied to the employer and representatives, or to corporation executives who are responsible for the administration and direction of an enterprise. (See EMPLOYER.)

MANAGEMENT BY OBJECTIVES (MBO). An employee development technique which consists of a process in which a supervisor and an employee or group of employees jointly identify, establish, and measure achievement against common goals for the employee(s). The unique feature of management by objectives is that the process requires involvement of employees in the setting of performance goals.

MANAGEMENT PREROGATIVES. As used in union-management relationships, this term is applied to rights reserved to management, which may be expressly noted as such in a collective bargaining agreement, usually including the right to schedule production, to determine the process of manufacture, to maintain order and efficiency, to hire, etc.

 MANDATORY BARGAINING SUBJECTS. Items which under the National Labor Relations Act must be negotiated if either party wishes to do so.

MAN-DAYS OF STRIKE IDLENESS. A key measure of strike activity reflecting working time lost because of strikes. The figures on strike idleness do not include secondary idleness-that is, the effects of a work stoppage on other establishments or industries whose employees may be made idle as a result of material or service shortages.

MAN-HOUR. A unit of productivity equivalent to the output of one worker performing at standard normal pace for one hour.

MAN-HOUR OUTPUT. A productivity measure in which numerical quantity produced is divided by hours applied to the production of that quantity.

MAN-MINUTE. A unit of productivity used in some incentive plans and equivalent to one worker performing at the standard normal pace for one minute. This is the basis for the Bedaux incentive plan, i.e., the 60B unit is a normal hour.

MANNING TABLE. A listing of the positions and the number of workers, both direct and indirect, authorized in the operation of a business. In a production plant a variable manning table may be used to authorize the manpower required at different production levels.

MANPOWER. General term used to designate the number of persons required in operating a specific organizational entity.


MARKET COMPARISON STUDY. Survey of wages paid by other companies for like or similar services.

MARGINAL PRODUCTIVITY THEORY OF WAGES. An economic theory that seeks to explain wage determination based upon contribution of the last or marginal worker to total production.

MARKET PRICING. A wage and salary setting policy that sets the rates to be paid for a job to the organization’s best estimate of the going wage rate in the external marketplace for that job. It is a process  that defines a job’s worth solely by the going rate in the labor market.

MARKET RATES. The employer’s best estimate of the wage rates that are clearing in the external labor market for a given job or occupation.

MASTER AGREEMENT. A single or uniform collective bargaining agreement covering a number of plants of a single employer or the members of an employer’s association. (See MULTIPLANT BARGAINING, MULTI-EMPLOYER BARGAINING.)

MASTERCRAFT. The job created by the reduction of several skilled crafts such as electrician, carpenter, millwright, plumber, welder, etc. into smaller groups so that a skilled craftsman, after appropriate training, can be called on to perform several crafts. The combining of several craft skills into one higher skilled craft.

MATERNITY BENEFITS. Term applied to health and insurance plan benefits payable to an employee because of pregnancy and childbirth, and for hospital, surgical, and medical benefits related thereto. In some plans, men are also paid for time away from work in helping to care for the new born child.

MATERNITY LEAVE. Leave granted to undergo and recover from childbirth. In some firms, husbands are granted paternity leave.

MATURITY COMPARISONS. The consideration given education, experience, age, seniority, performance, and other factors in determining an individual’s wages. (See INDIVIDUAL WAGE DETERMINATION.)

MATURITY CURVE. The chart of curves which relate an individual’s years of experience and level of responsibility to compensation within a given profession or field as opposed to compensation rates within a particular organization.


MEASURED DAY WORK. A plan using standards to measure performance but which does not pay daily or weekly incentive earnings; some plans do include the adjustment of the employee’s base hourly rate on a quarterly basis.

MEDIATION. A procedure in which a central third party assists union and management negotiators in reaching a voluntary agreement. An attempt by a third party to help in the settlement of a dispute between employer and union through suggestion, advice, or other methods of stimulating agreement. In contrast to an arbitrator, a mediator has no authority to impose terms on the parties. Most of the mediation in the United States is under taken through federal and state mediation agencies. (See FEDERAL MEDIATION AND CONCILIATION SERVICE)

MEDIATOR. Term used to designate a person who under takes mediation of a dispute. In practice synonymous with Conciliator. (See FEDERAL MEDIATION AND CONCILIATION SERVICE.)

MEDIATION/ARBITRATION (MED/ARB). A technique whereby an arbitrator attempts to mediate a dispute but, if unsuccessful, makes a binding decision.

MEDICAL BENEFITS. Plan which provides workers, and in many cases their dependents, with specified medical care (other than that connected with surgery) or a cash allowance toward the cost of doctors’ visits. Generally part of a health and insurance program. (See HEALTH AND INSURANCE PLAN, HEALTH CENTER.)

MEMBER. An employee who has joined a union paying the required initiation fee and periodic dues is considered to be a “member-in-good-standing.” (See UNION MEMBER.)


MERIT BUDGET. Allocation of funds to identified groups of employees for merit award use.

MERIT INCREASE. An increase in the wage rate of an individual worker on the basis of performance or service. This is widely used as a method of advancing workers within established rate ranges, sometimes in conjunction with a provision for automatic increases over part of the range. Merit increases may be administered informally at the discretion of the employer, or provision may exist for the periodic review of the performance of employees for granting of merit increases. (See WAGE REVIEW).

MERIT PAY. Compensation over and above an employee’s pay rate based upon a plan for rewarding performance meeting a set criteria for excellence.

MERIT POOL. A fund from which merit payments are allocated. May be based upon a formula for accumulation reflecting improvement in operating profit, loss reduction, productivity, or other criteria.

MERIT PROGRESSION. A formula for progressing a person through a wage structure according to performance, time, or some other individual equity basis.

MERIT RATING. A formalized system of appraising employee performance according to an established group of factors. Usually the appraisal is annual or semiannual and is by immediate supervision. Factors frequently considered include quality of work, quantity of work, reliability, adaptability, initiative, attitude, etc.


METHODS ANALYSIS. A systematic and critical examination of existing and proposed ways for performing a specific task, operation or activity.

METHODS ENGINEER. A person who, by specialized training, analyzes and designs work methods and procedures. (Formerly motion study engineer.)

METHODS ENGINEERING. Analysis and design of work methods and procedures. (Formerly identified with motion study.) (See MOTION STUDY.)

METHODS STUDY. Detailed study of work aimed at establishing the optimum or best way to perform the desired task. (Formerly identified with motion study.) (See MOTION STUDY.)

ME-TOO CLAUSE. A clause in a labor contract or agreement that grants to one union any better terms won by another union in subsequent negotiations with the same employer.

MIDPOINT. The salary or wage midway between the minimum and maximum rates of the range.

MIDPOINT PROGRESSION (MIDPOINT SEPARATION). The slope of the salary schedule from midpoint to midpoint expressed as a percent of the lower midpoint. Progression may be constant throughout the schedule or may increase at higher salary grade levels.

MIGRATORY WORKERS.  Persons whose principal income is earned from temporary employment (usually in farming) and who, in the course of a year, move one or more times, often through several states.

MILITARY LEAVE. Excused leave of absence for military service, reserve training, National Guard duty, etc. Time lost may be paid for by the employer in whole or in part.

MINIMUM FUNDING. The least amount of reserve investment necessary to back an employee welfare plan.


MINIMUM JOB RATE. The minimum rate of pay for workers on a given job. The minimum rate may be either a single or the minimum of a rate range. Union rates or union scales are usually minimum job rates. Normally, entrance rates, probationary rates, or learner rates fall below the minimum job rates.

MINIMUM MANNING. The minimum number of workers who can be assigned to operate a particular machine, operation, or assembly line where manning can be varied.

MINIMUM PLANT RATE. Normally the minimum rate of pay for experienced workers in the lowest-paid job in the establishment. The term may, however, mean different things in plants with different organized wage structures. In some plants, the term refers to the rate for the lowest-paid production job, although lower rates may exist for such jobs as common labor or janitor. In some plants the so- called minimum rate may actually be a hiring or probationary rate. (See ENTRANCE RATE.)

MINIMUM RATE. There are several kinds of minimum rates, those that are applicable to specific jobs and those that are applicable to entire establishments. Normally those that are applicable to specific jobs are called minimum job rates and those applicable to entire establishments are called minimum plant rates. In addition, there are several varieties of guaranteed minimum rates usually applicable to individual jobs under wage incentive systems.

MINIMUM TIME. The least time wherein a task may be reasonably expected to be accomplished.

MINIMUM WAGE. Rates of wages, established legally or through collective bargaining, below which workers cannot be employed. The Fair Labor Standards Act establishes the legal minimum wage to be paid to workers engaged in interstate commerce, unless such workers are covered by state laws which provide for higher minimum wages. Minimum rates are also established by collective bargaining and are applicable to individual plants, or to groupings of plants within an area or within an industry.



MONEY WAGES (NOMINAL WAGES). Amount of cash or money actually received as compared to the real wage which measures purchasing power.

MONITORSHIP. Supervision or surveillance of a union by an outside party, usually for a limited time, imposed by order of a court or parent union organization.

MONTHLY LABOR REVIEW. A monthly magazine devoted to general economic and labor matters, issued by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, United States Department of Labor.

MOONLIGHTING. Practice of maintaining regular employment with more than one employer. Term refers to employee practice of taking employment in a secondary job during evenings or nights. Reverse arrangement is sometimes termed “sunlighting.”

MOTION STUDY (MOTION ANALYSIS). The study of the basic manual movements and procedures associated with the accomplishment of work. Historically associated with Gilbreth’s work, in contrast to time study, associated with Taylor.

MOTION-TIME ANALYSIS. Motion analysis with time consideration.


MTM (METHODS TIME MEASUREMENT). A widely available system of predetermined times for basic motions used to set work standards and/or labor time estimates.

MULTI-EMPLOYER BARGAINING. Collective bargaining between a union or unions and a group of employers, usually represented by an employer association, resulting in a uniform or master agreement.

MULTIPLANT BARGAINING. Collective bargaining between a company and the union or unions representing workers in more than one of its plants, usually resulting in a master agreement. If all or most plants are involved, the term “companywide” is appropriately used. (See COMPANYWIDE BARGAINING.)

MULTIPLE PIECE RATE PLAN. A wage incentive plan using two or more piece rates. One rate is paid for production of a fixed quantity in a given time, and a higher rate(s) is paid for production beyond the initial level. (See DIFFERENTIAL PIECEWORK.)

MULTIPLE TIME PLAN. A wage incentive plan that pays a higher base wage rate as production levels increase. A series of step bonuses for increased production. (See DIFFERENTIAL TIME PLAN.)

< Previous | Next >