JULY 1989

Are you getting what you pay for in overtime? Two years ago Jim Read crunched some numbers and confirmed his suspicions: no more was being produced in the 10-hour days that had become standard in his company than had been produced in the bygone era of 8-hour days before The Read Corp.'s business picked up.

"Faces were down, production wasn't up, and there were more accidents," Read concluded after studying the productivity of his Middleboro, Mass., gravel-screening-equipment manufacturing plant. Read was worried, though, that going back to 8-hour days would be hard on his employees, who "had become accustomed to living on the wages of a 55- or 60-hour workweek."

Read now says no to overtime for factory and office employees alike and schedules a second shift instead. But he compensates for the lost pay by issuing three extra paychecks a year, made possible in part by a more efficient factory floor.