The amount by which the wage or salary of a worker or group of workers exceeds a previously negotiated agreement. Wage drift may occur, for example, if an employee is asked to work unexpected overtime or if persons in a region are offered wages higher than the national rate during a labor shortage.
Farlex Financial Dictionary. © 2012 Farlex, Inc. All Rights Reserved
wage driftthe propensity for employees' actual earnings to rise faster than increases in their WAGE RATE. This tends to occur when there is full employment or when there are labour shortages in particular labour markets, and often results from informal bargaining between workers, their representatives (SHOP STEWARDS) and managers supplementing formal COLLECTIVE BARGAINING. It was considered to be a widespread problem in the UK in the 1960s and contributed to the decision to create a Royal Commission to investigate the state of UK INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS (See DONOVAN COMMISSION). See PRICES AND INCOMES POLICY, PAY, PAYMENT BY RESULTS.
Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson
wage driftsee EARNINGS DRIFT.
Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005