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Military government weekly information bulletin
No. 41 (May 1946)

German reactions,   pp. 16-19 PDF (1.9 MB)

Page 17

the popula.tion. Some of them (12 per-*
cent) point out that the practice is un-
democratic insofar as it restricts individ-
ual freedom. Others (7 percent) maintain
that freedom of choice of job is neces-
sary to the worker if he is to find the
work most suitable to his talents. A few
spoke of tire Diow which this provision
offers to the incentive of workers who
"will not be able to better themselves."
When put in terms of aiding the recon-
struction of Germany, however, disap-
proval of this part of Order No. 3 was
considerably reduced. The principalrea-
sons given by those who favor this meas-
ure are that the Labor Offices need this;
authority in order to ensure proper al-
location of workers (30 percent), and
that this measure allows the over-all job
to be carried out in an orderly manner.
(18 percent).
A number of differences in attitudes
,are apparent among residents of differ-
ent areas and different-sized localities.
Somewhat greater disapproval is regis-
tered by inhabitants of Greater Hesse
and Wuerttember-Baden where economic
conditions are somewhat more difficult
than in relatively prosperous Bavaria.
Similarly, residents of the three largesst
cities in the Zone - Munich, Frankfurt
and Stuttgart - are less in favor of the
measures than residents of smaller-sized
communities. A special survey made in
Berlin indicates that the extent of ap-
proval of the order approximates that
found in the largest cities in the Amer,-
ican Zone.
There is considerable objection to the
new law in the rural areas. It seems
likely that an appreciable portion of the
present rural population is living in these
small villages not by choice but out of
necessity, and does not look with favor
ion any labor control measures, which,
might permanently keep them from mov-
ing elsewhere to more desired types of
occupation. This, of course, is part of
the difficult problem of including non-
farmers to- take up jobs as agriculturall-
laborers. The law  is least popular in
towns with populations between 10,000
.and 100,000.
A separate analysis was made -of
people who state that they were em-
ployed at- present. About 57 percent of
the entire sampled adult population in
the American Zone state that they are
employed full - time or part - time. This
contrasts unfavorably with Berlin where,
according to the poll, 74 percent claim
to be employed.
Although the results of the surveys
have comparative value, they are to be
regarded only as rough estimates of em-
ployment, since what constitutes "em-
ployment" was not defined in precise
A solid majority (63 percent) of the
employed group are satisfied with their
jobs. Another fifth of the workers are
fairly well satisfied. About one in ten
workers are dissatisfied with their jobs,
half of them being very dissatisfied. The
rather surprising degree of satisfaction
with present employment must be at-
tributed primarily to a sober realization
that job selection opportunities are now
strictly limited. Whatever the reason,
this relative satisfaction with present
employment simplifies for the time being
the control of labor mobility by the La-
boor Office authorities. When more jobs
become available, an increase in public
discontent with present limitations on
changing jobs may be expected.
Middle-aged people were more satis-
fied with their present employment than
those under 30 years. Among dissatisfied
workers, complaints are heard that their
current job is- different from that for
which they had been trained. Some white
collar workers point out that circum-

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