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Carl Ferdinand von Stumm-Halberg, Address to his Employees (c. 1889)

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For my part, I would not continue as your leader for one more moment if I were forced to trade my personal relationship with each one of you for negotiations with a workers’ organization under external leadership. [ . . . ] Such a relationship, like that to a foreign power, would be unthinkable, simply on account of my sense of moral duty and Christian convictions. [ . . . ] Should this ever turn out otherwise, and should I indeed be prevented from monitoring and improving the individual worker's conduct – outside of the company as well – then I would not stay at the helm of the business for one more day. For in that case I would no longer be able to fulfill the obligations dictated by my conscience before God and my fellow men. In my opinion, any employer who is indifferent towards his employees’ behavior outside of the company neglects his most important duties. [ . . . ] I could [ . . . ] name a range of [ . . . ] activities engaged in by workers outside of the workplace – activities in which it is the absolute duty of any employer motivated by a sense of moral responsibility to intervene, as opposed to taking up the comfortable position of saying: Whatever the worker does outside the company is immaterial to me; I am only interested in the employee’s performance at work. [ . . . ] I am not stating all of this in order to imply some accomplishment on my part, for I am merely doing my duty as a human, as a Christian, and as head of the great Neunkirch workers’ family. [ . . . ] I believe I can say in good conscience that I am not being outpaced by any of my fellow employers in terms of social institutions, at least not in my efforts to provide, to the best of my ability, for your material and spiritual well-being and to confirm practical Christianity, for which I feel responsible before God. In this way, I hope to make sure that you will remain unsusceptible to the temptations of Social Democrats and other false prophets far beyond my own lifetime – that is the best welfare service I can grant and leave behind to you. Do remain firmly anchored in the old, unshakable loyalty to our sublime monarch, do remain steadfast in your Christian love of your neighbor and your true fear of God, in whatever confession to which you may belong, and you will, in all probability, also do well in future. [ . . . ]

All masters and workers shall conduct themselves outside of work in a way that gives honor to the company of Stumm Brothers; they ought to realize that their employer keeps an eye on their private lives at all times. [ . . . ]

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