INTERNATIONAL FEDERATION OF COMMERCIAL, CLERICAL & TECHNICAL EMPLOYEES
Secretariat: Paulus Potterstraat 9, Amsterdam. Z.
No. 15. Amsterdam, January 1937.
REPORT ON THE SITUATION IN GERMANY.
(IFCCTE) The present position and future fate of German salaried employees are of course indissolubly linked up with the general economic and political trend of the third Reich. Since we issued our last report in October two features have become increasingly conspicuous:
1.) The Nazis are finding it increasingly difficult to cope with their economic problems. On all sides there are reports witnessing to the shortage of the most essential foodstuffs, prices are rising (despite all official efforts to prevent them) and workers of all descriptions are clamouring for wage rises to correspond with the advance in the cost of living.
2.) The Government is seeking to divert attention from these internal troubles through adventure in the realm of foreign politics. The most recent instance of the kind is the German-Japanese "Treaty of Defence against Bolshevism". We have no wish to belittle the influence of such action in Germany, especially among the young. But there can be no doubt that tricks of the sort lose their effect if too frequently repeated; and none the less because they are bringing war nearer day by day.
In our present report we shall try to outline the economic and social measures taken by German Fascism to deal with the pressure at home and in what way these measures are threatened or do actually meet with resistance.
Unemployment.- (IFCCTE) It is a favourite boast of Nazism that the "Leader" has put an end to unemployment. It is true that on paper the unemployment figures have fallen very considerably, owing to the armaments ramp, the creation of a gigantic army, compulsory labour service, the construction of automobile roads and the despatch of the unemployed to help agriculture. The following facts, chiefly taken from official sources, throw light both on the inaccuracy of the statements and on the doubtfulness of the measures.
Cooked Unemployment Statistics.- (IFCCTE) Last October, writing in the official "Arbeitslosenhilfe", Dr. Luyken declared that greater clarity is needed in the conception of the idea of unemployment, and the "unemployed". Two categories would henceforth be excluded from the official lists; (1) those who are prevented from earning more than two-thirds of the normal; and (2) those who are employed less than 30 hours a week. Two other sections are classified as not fully employable: those who work less than 48 hours, but more than 30 hours a week, and those who have lost the habit of work through long unemployment, age etc.., and further, those who have diminished their chances of work by constantly refusing employment. So the man who steadily refuses to accept coolie conditions of labour becomes only "partially employable" and will presently, be dropped out of the unemployed lists. These changes in the statistical methods came into use in October last !