OSAKA — Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. plans to introduce a new pay system in which division managers conduct wage talks with their respective workers rather than the company doing it as a whole, company sources said Monday.

As a result, the leading consumer electronics maker will abandon its companywide pay schedule altogether, the sources said.

The company is expected to submit the plan to its labor union for review in early January in the hope that it can put the new pay system into practice as early as fiscal 2004, which begins in April of that year.

Should the new system, which is to determine pay levels based on business performance at each division, be adopted, there could be a wage gap of more than 1 million yen a year for workers with similar employment records, the sources said.

The plan is intended to streamline the company’s pay schedule and bolster its profitability and competitiveness — a move that may encourage other firms to follow suit.

At the beginning of this month, Matsushita reorganized its group operations into 11 divisions and eight subsidiaries. It has already introduced a system in which bonuses are set based on earnings.

The company decided to go further by introducing the new pay system as the current system effectively means profitable divisions partly finance wages at loss-making divisions, the sources said.

CRT integration begins

OSAKA — Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. and Toshiba Corp. said Monday they have set up a joint company in the lead up to the consolidation of their cathode-ray tube businesses.

Matsushita owns 60 percent of the new company in Takatsuki, Osaka, and Toshiba owns the remainder.

Matsushita and Toshiba agreed in September to create a joint company by the end of March to integrate their CRT operations.

The business integration will involve product development, manufacturing and sales operations, according to Matsushita and Toshiba.

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