Business: The Unpaid Coffee Break

When Denver Tiemaker Phil Greinetz lost his best weavers to the armed forces during World War II, he hired elderly women for his little (20 looms) Los Wigwam Weavers. They were fine workers, but tired easily. At their suggestion, he experimented with 15-minute rest breaks morning and afternoon and provided coffee. When Greinetz found that workers who took the break produced more ties, he made it compulsory. But since wages were frozen, he could not pay his employees for the rest time. The employees did not care; as production soared, earnings on piece rates went up to $1.02 hourly.

Everything was fine...