Our unskilled laborers will first mutually erect these shelters; and then they will earn their houses as permanent possessions by means of their work -- not immediately, but after three years of good conduct. In this way we shall secure energetic and able men, and these men will be practically trained for life by three years of labor under good discipline. I said before that the Company would not have to pay these unskilled laborers. What will they live on?
On the whole, I am opposed to the Truck system, [the practice of paying the workman's wages in goods instead of money.] but it will have to be applied in the case of these first settlers. The Company provides for them in so many ways, that it may take charge of their maintenance. In any case the Truck system will be enforced only during the first few years, and it will benefit the workmen by preventing their being exploited by small traders, landlords, etc. The Company will thus make it impossible from the outset for those of our people, who are perforce hawkers and peddlers here, to reestablish themselves in the same trades over there. And the Company will also keep back drunkards and dissolute men. Then will there be no payment of wages at all during the first period of settlement. Certainly, there will be wages for overtime.
THE SEVEN-HOUR DAY
The seven-hour day is the regular working day.
This does not imply that wood-cutting, digging, stonebreaking, and a hundred other daily tasks should only t performed during seven hours. Indeed not. There will t fourteen hours of labor, work being done in shifts of three and a half hours. The organization of all this will be military in character; there will be commands, promotions and pensions, the means by which these pensions are provided being explained further on.
A sound man can do a great deal of concentrated work in three and a half hours. After an interval of the same length of time -- which he will devote to rest, to his family and to his education under guidance -- he will be quite fresh for work again. Such labor can do wonders. The seven-hour day thus implies fourteen hours of joint labor -- more than that cannot be put into a day.
I am convinced that it is quite possible to introduce the seven-hour day with success. The attempts to do so in Belgium and England are well known. Some advance political economists who have studied the subject, declare that a five-hour day would suffice. The Society of Jew and the Jewish Company will, in any case, make net and extensive experiments which will benefit the other nations of the world; and if the seven-hour day prove itself practicable, it will be introduced in our future State as the legal and regular working day.
Meantime, the Company will always allow its employee the seven-hour day; and it will always be in a position to do so.
The seven-hour day will be the call to summon our people in every part of the world. All must come voluntarily, for ours must indeed be the Promised Land. ..
Whoever works longer than seven hours receives his additional pay for overtime in cash. Seeing that all his needs are supplied, and that those members of his family who are unable to work are provided for by transplanted and centralized philanthropic institutions, he can save a little money. Thrift, which is already a characteristic of our people, should be greatly encouraged, because it will, in the first place, facilitate the rise of individuals to higher grades; and secondly, the money saved will provide an immense reserve fund for future loans. Overtime will only be permitted on a doctor's certificate, and must not exceed three hours. For our men will crowd to work in the new country, and the world will see then what an industrious people we are.
I shall not describe the mode of carrying out the Truck system, nor, in fact, the innumerable details of any process, for fear of confusing my readers. Women will not be allowed to perform any arduous labor, nor to work overtime.
Pregnant women will be relieved of all work, and will be supplied with nourishing food by the Truck. We want our future generations to be strong men and women.
Translated from the German by Sylvie D'Avigdor
This edition published in 1946 by the American Zionist Emergency Council
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