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"Italian Workers to Germany," Der Tagesspiegel (December 21, 1955)

This newspaper article addressed the practical details of the German-Italian agreement on the recruitment of foreign workers (so-called “guest workers”) for the German labor market. The guarantee of equal pay and equal working conditions for the Italians was intended to prevent a deterioration in conditions for German workers.

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Italian Workers to Germany
In one year 80,000 to 100,000 – agreement signed in Rome

Rome (UP). On Tuesday, Federal Labor Minister Storch and Italian Foreign Minister Martino signed an agreement that envisions the annual employment of 80,000 to 100,000 Italian workers in the Federal Republic. The workers will be employed for a period of up to nine months. In addition to German social benefits, they will also receive the “family bonus” customary in Italy.

The agreement regulates details of job placement and the general working conditions of the Italians. The workers will be selected from the following special areas and deployed in the Federal Republic: agriculture, construction, and technology. Workers who learn German during the nine-month contract period can subsequently also be placed in mining. That requires, however, that they can understand spoken and written German so they can observe the directives and the safety provisions. The German-Italian agreement has a duration of one year and is then to be renewed annually. The first Italian workers are to arrive in the Federal Republic in the spring.

On Tuesday evening, Federal Labor Minister Storch noted to journalists that Germany would request workers from Italy only if needed. He called concerns that the Italians would depress wages mistaken.

Bonn (dpa). A recourse to foreign workers would no longer be avoidable next year, but in the future, as well, the task of placing every suitable German worker in a job would take precedence. State Secretary Sauerborn from the Federal Labor Ministry said this on Tuesday with reference to the German-Italian agreement.

Source: “Italienische Arbeiter nach Deutschland” [“Italian Workers to Germany”], Der Tagesspiegel, December 21, 1955, p. 2.

Translation: Thomas Dunlap

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