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: Rotten paycheck  ( 1074 )
Jr. Member

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« : August 30, 2016, 08:44:49 AM »

Man o man I can't get my boss to give me an idea of what I'm being paid based on pieces I complete. In another words, if he charges $1,200 for a couch re-upholster job, I don't know the %.  I do multiple pieces and stitching for other upholsterers weekly and it's impossible to figure out my payscale. I did learn that if he gives a discount to a customer, I'm getting the hit as well. We touched upon this once and it was incredibly uncomfortable and I never got a straight answer. There are many pros to this job and I don't want to lose it. Is there a standard % paid to upholsters? I need to get this straightened out. This is an awful position to be placed in. Any insight would be appreciated.
YaBB God

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Mainly furniture. Tarpon Springs Fl.

« #1 : August 30, 2016, 11:15:41 AM »

I remember working for a percentage of labor. Never liked it. But it was I think 60 /40. This was years ago.

Minichillo's Upholstery
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All types of upholstery.....except cars and boats.

« #2 : August 30, 2016, 11:47:58 AM »

I did learn that if he gives a discount to a customer, I'm getting the hit as well.
I'm not sure that having a percentage etched in stone will do any good if the number that the percentage is derived from keeps fluctuating.

I think your boss should negotiate with his own money, and not yours.

That would be like me calling my fabric supplier and saying "I had to give the customer a discount, so I'm knocking 10% off your invoice".

"Perfection is the greatest enemy of profitability" - Mark Cuban
YaBB God

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« #3 : August 30, 2016, 12:31:12 PM »

This employer may be the best game in town for you but that should not hold you there if you're not being treated fairly.  There's money in this trade and a good employee should be rewarded deservingly.  A few bucks when you go above and beyond should not break the bank. 
Remind the owner that some companies also pay union dues, health care, vacation, personal days, sick days, and eleven holidays,
There is no standard pay rate and each market place is different.  Here in NY a guy who can spring and cover a new frame start to finish can earn
$ 30.00 / hour.  Basic recovering or seamstress  $ 20.00 / hour.  Strippers $ 12.00 / hour.  Above that there can be perks, rewards, benefits etc.
YaBB God

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North Central Florida

« #4 : August 30, 2016, 01:54:35 PM »

I never worked by the piece. In factory work it was always understood that piece work was a lesser quality then by the hour. In a factory environment when an upholsterer picks up a piece to cover they always know what it will pay. There will be a tag stapled to the fabric. For instance if someone was upholstering the arms on a sofa the tag would say, In Arms $5. If the salesman gave the retailer a discount the upholsterer still made his pay.

I worked for a upholstery shop that payed both ways. They payed me by the hour but payed the other upholsterer who was much slower by the piece. The idea was to get him to speed up a little. But it backfired. The upholsterer figured as long as he was getting paid by the piece he could take as long as he pleased. And he did.

They never told this fellow how much the piece paid before he started it. And I thought this totally unexceptionable.

If they had suggested I should go on piece rate I would have quit. They were way to unorganized. I've always said If you're going to pay buy the piece you better be super organized. You better have the next piece ready and waiting with the fabric and all the notes that go along with it. So when the upholsterer sets one piece down he can immediately pick the next up. No time wasted trying to figure out whats next. The tools better be in top notch working order. This includes the sewing machine. An upholsterer on piece work doesn't have time to fix half assed tools. And the upholsterer needs to know what the piece is paying before he picks it up. If the boss gives him a wing chair with a striped fabric and says it pays $150 the upholsterer needs to be able to tell him hes out of his mind.

You're in a tight pickle Nora, the time to discuss pay method is before you start working for someone. But believe me I know how difficult it is when you're at the interview table and you're trying to think of all the questions YOU should ask HIM. Usually your so excited someone actually wants to hire you the appropriate questions fly out the window.

The best answer I can give you at this point is be upfront and frank with the guy. It may be uncomfortable but you deserve to know what the piece pays before you start the project. Its only fair. If he keeps beating around the bush you can bet the reason is because this way he can pay you less then what your worth.  
« : August 30, 2016, 02:09:30 PM kodydog »

There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.

« #5 : August 30, 2016, 09:28:22 PM »

Some time ago, I worked on a percentage something close to 60/40 but, I was involved in the pricing of the object.  In other words, I knew what the cost of materials were and how much profit was in the job before the shop agreed with the customer on a price.

It worked reasonably well, but I had to pay all my SS.  Kinda of like an contract relationship.

But everyone knew what the numbers were before starting.

At the end of the day, do you feel you have been compensated for your time?

That is important.

Jr. Member

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« #6 : August 31, 2016, 07:54:07 AM »

Thank you all!! I can't tell you how much I appreciate the advice! I'm ready to talk with him and get this over with. Hope it works out but if it doesn't , I'm walking. This is such a great site. Thank u again everyone.
YaBB God

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I'm Always In Trouble

« #7 : September 01, 2016, 09:40:26 AM »

I am going to side with Dennis. His comment is spot on. I would be livid if someone was negotiating my pay scale with a customer.

If he wants to provide discounts, it should be off his bank account not yours.

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