Featherbedding

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Featherbedding

1. Pejorative; a term for the hiring or maintaining the employment of more workers than a company needs, or of instituting unnecessary work procedures so that workers may have something to do without increasing the company's production. Historically, this has applied to union contracts in which a union insists the employer hire more union members than he/she needs. However, the term is also used to describe unnecessary or nepotistic management level positions.

2. Under the Taft-Hartley Act, an illegal agreement providing for payment for services that are unperformed and not to be performed. This was passed as an anti-union measure limiting the ability to create "make-work" programs, but the U.S. Supreme Court ruled such programs to be legal in American Newspaper Publishers Association vs. National Labor Relations Board (1953). This decision defined featherbedding exclusively as paying a worker not to work.
References in periodicals archive ?
Risk-taking businesses make a go of digital channels, then the featherbedded Beeb duplicate their efforts at our expense.
The firefighters live in a cocooned, featherbedded world, and are only miffed because their cushy life is now in the public domain.