Piece work causes massive headaches for employers though.
If it's a singular task, shovel this here and go there all day it's fine whatever, as soon as it becomes a chain though, where one persons pace doesn't match another persons pace, it creates animosity amongst the crew.
If someone is sick and breaks the chain or quits or whatever, it fucks everything up.
I worked when I was younger as a yard man in a Shake and Shingle mill. There were two cuberman, they took cedar blocks and sliced them , the slices would go down a conveyor to the packers who would pack them into bundles of shingles and pallet them. These guys all got paid by what they produced, they were a pretty well oiled machine.
I was the guy being paid by the hour, I had to keep the cubermen supplied with material, I had to move the pallets, stack them in twos and strap em and move them into the yard for shipping. I had to keep the conveyor clean and operating and take care of the odd ball shingles that got tossed aside. I had to keep the saw dust bins from overflowing and load/unload trucks as they came in. I had to maintain all the equipment and minimize all downtime , if anything stopped working these guys just stood there because they weren't being paid to do anything else so they straight wouldn't. It seemed counter productive to me since any assistance they could provide would get them working and making money again but whatever. All this stuff happened at the same time and you had to prioritize everything and if anyone had to wait longer than a minute you were being yelled at. It was stressful at first because the guys hate you. The person you replaced had a system and kept them working, a system which you weren't taught and had to learn on the fly. They were fairly reasonable my first week , after that they had no tolerance for any kind of fuck ups on my part. I got good at it eventually as you do , but it was still a chaotic fucking job especially for an 18 year old kid.
Any time any one of those guys was sick it just fucked everything. Everything slowed down completely and it would fuck the guys on money for the day, and it would mess me up to. When you are used to working at 110% of your capability and you are all of a sudden knocked down to only needing to work at 75% it's shocking how out of sorts you get.
This was a small operation mind you, and everyone made good money but it's a very delicate balance and the guy that owned the place absolutely hated it because every issue was a disaster. Something that was to be a side business making money off a by product of another business just turned out to be far to much work for all involved and it likely would have worked out better if it was just an hourly wage site and left it at that.