The resolution passed by the Council of Ministers to increase work quotas states above all that the improved organization of work, worker training, the use of new work methods, improved technical conditions, the elimination of down time, and greater worker discipline in factories will provide the basis for increasing work quotas and enhancing productivity in accordance with key enterprise data.
Management and union leaders in many enterprises have acted conscientiously on this resolution. However, many enterprises have not implemented or have violated the resolution passed by the Council of Ministers. For instance, to the detriment of successful efforts to increase productivity by means of increased work quotas, a dangerous, reactionary “theory” has emerged that an increase in work quotas leads to lower wages. The unions have firmly rejected this view, which grossly abuses the authority of the resolutions passed by the party of the Working Class, the Council of Ministers, and the executive committee of the national board of the Confederation of Free German Trade Unions – and which deeply and scandalously violates the interests of all working people.
Work quotas are not being raised to lower wages, but to produce a larger number of goods at lower cost and in better ways, as a result of more efficient work that involves the same expenditure of effort. The hostile “theory” of reduced wages must be eliminated. The more thoroughly and quickly this is done, the more actively and consciously workers will embrace the cause of a 10% increase in output quotas.
Source: “Zu einigen schädlichen Erscheinungen bei der Erhöhung der Arbeitsnormen” [“Some Harmful Developments in Connection with the Increase in Work Quotas”], in Tribüne (June 16, 1953); reprinted in Ernst Deuerlein, ed., DDR [GDR]. Munich, 1966, p. 133.
Translation: Adam Blauhut