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Labor Charter of Fascist Italy

Art. 1. The Italian nation is an organism, having aims, life, and means of action superior to those of the single or grouped individuals who compose it. It is a moral, political and economic unity which is completely realized in the Fascist State.

Art. 2. Labor in all forms, intellectual, technical and manual, is a social duty. In this sense, and in this sense only, is it protected by the State. From the national point of view all production is a unit; its objects are unitary and can be defined as the well-being of the producers and the development of national strength.

Art. 3. Trade or syndicate organization is free. But only the syndicate regularly recognized and placed under the control of the State has the legal right to represent the entire group of employers or of workers for which it is constituted, to guard their interests before the state or other organized economic groups, to draw up collective labor contracts, obligatory on all those belonging to the same group, to impose contributions (taxes) on them and exercise delegated functions of public interest relating to them.

Art. 4. In collective labor contracts, the solidarity of the various factors of production finds its concrete expression in the reconciliation of the opposing interests of employers and workers, and in their subordination to the superior interests of production.

Art. 5. The labor court is the organ through which the State intervenes to solve labor controversies, whether they deal with the observance of contracts or other existing standards, or with the determination of new labor conditions.

Art. 6. Legally organized trade organizations assure legal equality between employers and workers, maintain the discipline of production and labor, and promote its perfection. A corporation constitutes the organization of one field of production and represents its interests as a whole. Since the interests of production are national interests, the corporations are recognized by law as state organizations by virtue of this representation.

Art. 7. The Corporate State considers private initiative in the field of production the most efficacious and most useful instrument in the interest of the nation. Private organization of production being a function of national interest, the organization of the enterprise is responsible to the State for the direction of its production. Reciprocity of the rights and duties is derived from the collaboration of the productive forces. The technician, office employee and worker is an active collaborator in the economic undertaking, the direction of which is the right of the employer, who has the responsibility for it.

Art. 8. Trade associations of employers are obliged to promote in every way the increase and perfection of products and a reduction in costs. The representatives of those who exercise a liberal profession or an art, and the associations of public employees, join in the guardianship of the interests of art, science and letters, in the perfection of production and in the attainment of temporal aims of the corporate system.

Art. 9. The intervention of the State in economic production takes place only when private initiative is lacking or is insufficient, or when the political interests of the State are involved. Such intervention may assume the form of outside control, encouragement or direct management.

Art. 10. Labor disputes which involve groups can have no resort to the Labor Court until the corporation has exhausted its efforts for reconciliation. When individuals are involved in relation to the interpretation of collective contracts, the workers associations are empowered to attempt settlement. . . .

Art. 11. The trade associations are obliged to regulate by means of collective contracts the labor relations between the employers and employees. . . . Every collective labor contract, under penalty of nullification, must contain precise statements ... of the amount and manner of payment of wages, and the hours of labor.

Art. 12. The syndicate operation, the corporations' mediation and the labor court decisions shall guarantee the relation between wages and normal living costs. . . .

Art. 13. Losses due to crises in business and the fluctuations in exchange must be equally divided between the two elements (capital and labor). . . .

Art. 14. Wages should be paid as best suited to the needs of employee and the undertaking. When payment is by piece- work . . . suitable weekly or fortnightly accountings must be furnished. Night work . . . must be paid at higher rates than day work. . . .

Art. 15. Employees have the right of a weekly rest day, Sunday. . . . Collective contracts . . . shall ensure respect for civil and religious holidays. Employees must scrupulously and earnestly observe working hours.

Art. 16. After a year's uninterrupted service in a concern doing continuous work, the employee has the right to an annual holiday with pay.

Art. 17. In companies functioning the year round the employee has the right in case of discharge through no fault of his own to compensation based on the years of service. Likewise, in case of death.

Art. 18. The transfer of a firm into new hands shall not affect the labor contracts. . . . Illness of an employee does not cancel his contract. Call to service in the army or navy or Fascist militia shall not cause the dismissal of an employee.

Art. 19. Infractions of discipline, and acts disturbing the normal functioning of a concern shall he punished by fine, suspension, or immediate discharge without compensation. . . .

Art. 20. Newly hired employees shall have a period of trial in which the right to cancel the contract is reciprocal and payment only for actual time of work.

Art. 21. Collective labor contracts extends its benefits to workers at home. . . .

Art. 22. The State shall ascertain and control employment and unemployment since these are the indices of production and labor.

Art. 23. Labor exchanges (employment bureaus) shall be controlled by the Corporations. Employers shall be required to engage workers through these exchanges, with freedom of choice among names inscribed except that other things being equal, preference must be given to members of the Fascist Party and of Fascist syndicates in order of seniority of registration.

Art. 24. Professional trades associations must practice selective action among members for the purpose of increasing technical skill and moral value.

Art. 25. The corporations must see that the laws are observed governing safety, preventing accidents, and sanitation.

Art. 26. Insurance is an excellent example of the spirit of collaboration between classes. Employers and employees contribute to the cost proportionately. . . .

Art 27. The Fascist State proposes to bring about:

1. Improvement in accident insurance.

2. Improvement in extension of maternity assurance.

3. Compulsory insurance against occupational diseases and

Tuberculosis, first step towards compulsory insurance against all disease.

4. Improvement in unemployment insurance.

5. Adoption of special marriage endowment for young workers.

Art. 28. It is the duty of the employees associations to protect members administratively and legally in problems arising in connection with accidents or other form of social insurance. . . .

Art. 29. The associations must provide relief for workers they represent whether they be members or non-members. . . .

Art. 30. Education and training, especially technical training, shall be one of the chief duties of the professional trade associations towards members and non-members. They shall support the Dopolavoro (recreational institution) and other national educational enterprises.