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11/07/2017 Labour Charter of 1927 - Wikipedia

Labour Charter of 1927

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The Charter of Labour of 1927 (Italian: Carta del Lavoro) was one of the main pieces
of legislation Benito Mussolini, the Italian Fascist dictator from 192243, introduced in
his attempts to modernise the Italian economy. The Charter was promulgated by the
Grand Council of Fascism and publicized in the Lavoro d'Italia newspaper on April 23,
1927. It was mainly designed by Giuseppe Bottai, Under-Secretary of State of

1 Content
2 See also
3 Notes
4 References

The Charter declared private enterprise to be the most efficient,[1] thus helping Mussolini
to confirm the support of the rich industrialists who were the initial backers of Fascism.
It insisted that state intervention was legitimate only where private enterprise was

Article 1:

"The Italian Nation is an organism having ends, life, and means of action
superior to those of individuals, singly or in groups, of which it is composed. It
is a moral, political, and economic unity, realized wholly in the Fascist State."

Article 2:

"Work, in all its intellectual, technical, and manual forms, is a social obligation.
To this end, and only to this end, it is safeguarded by the State. The totality of
production is unitary from the national point of view; its objectives are unitary
and comprise the well-being of the producers and the development of national
strength." 1/4
11/07/2017 Labour Charter of 1927 - Wikipedia

Article 3:

"There is freedom of professional or union organization. But only the union

legally recognized by, and subject to, the control of the State has the right to
legally represent the entire category of employers or employees by which it is
constituted [...]; or to stipulate collective labor contracts binding on all those
belonging to the category; or to impose on them dues, or to exercise on their
behalf delegate functions of public interest."

Article 4:

"In the collective labor contract is found the concrete expression of the
solidarity of the various makers of the product, by means of the conciliation of
the opposing interests of the employers and the workers, and their
subordination to the superior interests of production."

Article 6:

"Legally recognized professional associations insure the legal equality between

employers and workers, maintain the discipline of production and work, and
promotes its perfection. Corporations constitute the unitary organizations of
production and integrally represent its interests [...]. Corporations are
recognized legally as organs of the State [...]."

Article 7:

"The corporative State considers private initiative, in the field of production, as

the most efficient and useful instrument of the Nation." [3]

Article 9 stated that:

"State intervention in economic production may take place only where private
initiative is lacking or is insufficient, or when are at stakes the political interest
of the State. This intervention may take the form of control, encouragement or
direct management." [4] 2/4
11/07/2017 Labour Charter of 1927 - Wikipedia

Article 13:

"The duty of employment is under control of the corporate organs. Employers

have the obligation to hire workers who are official members of the appropriate
trades, and have the power to choose from the rolls of membership, giving
precedence to the members of the party and the Fascist unions according to
their seniority of membership."

It created a Labour Court supposed to regulate labour controversies (article 5), as well as
corporations aimed at superating class conflict. This objective was more or less
concretized in the 1934 law on corporations, although workers did not have the
possibility of electing their representatives, who were nominated by the state. Beside
these state-nominated workers' representatives, the corporations included representatives
of the firms' directors. In the end, this legislation was more about Mussolini keeping his
own personal power than improving the lives of the people of Italy because, in its effect,
it was practically useless.

Collective contracts (established by article 4) were negotiated following the issuing of

the Charter of Labour, but with the effect of a decrease in wages. Fortunately, collective
contracts were able to ensure long term employment and large scale welfare including
paid vacations and numerous other fringe benefits workers hadn't previously enjoyed.[5]
Not until during the Great Depression did the state subsidize welfare; until then
employers were made to pay for all benefits.[6]

See also
Labour law
International Labour Organization
Economics of Italian Fascism
Fascist socialization

1. [1] (
2. Mussolini and Fascism, pg 54, Marco Palla, 2000
3. Italian: Lo Stato corporativo considera liniziativa privata, nel campo della produzione, come
lo strumento pi utile ed efficiente della Nazione.
4. Italian: Lintervento dello Stato, nella produzione economica, ha luogo, soltanto, quando
manca, o insufficiente, liniziativa privata o quando sono in gioco gli interessi politici dello
Stato. Tale intervento pu assumere forma di controllo, di incoraggiamento o di gestione
diretta. 3/4
11/07/2017 Labour Charter of 1927 - Wikipedia

5. Fascism and the industrial leadership: A study in the expansion of private power under
Fascism 1919 - 1940, Roland Sarti, 1968
6. Sarti, 1968


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This page was last edited on 4 April 2017, at 00:24.

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