TOUT POUR ET PAR LE PEUPLE
« Pour l’Honneur de la France, pour les intérêts sacrés de l’Humanité »
(Napoléon le Grand, 17 ventôse an VIII – samedi 8 mars 1800)
N°9255 IMPERIAL DECREE which authorises, in favour of the coal miners of the département of the Ourthe, the forming of a provident society, whose administration shall be established in Liège.
The Imperial Camp, Buntzlau, 26th of May 1813.
NAPOLEON, EMPEROR OF THE FRENCH, KING OF ITALY, PROTECTOR OF THE CONFEDERATION OF THE RHINE, MEDIATOR OF THE SWISS CONFEDERATION, &c. &c. &c.
On the report of our minister of the Interior ;
Wishing to give new proof of our care for those of our subjects engaged in the mining operations of our Empire, and particularly to second the beneficent intentions of the owners of the coal mines of the département of the Ourthe, in favour of this class of workers ;
Having heard our Council of State,
We HAVE DECREED and DECREE that which follows :
ARTICLE THE FIRST – We authorise, in favour of the coal workers of the département of the Ourthe, the forming of a provident society : the administration of this society shall be established in our good city of Liège.
- All workers and others employed in coal mining in this département, shall be permitted to be members of this society, and to partake in the aid that shall be accorded, by declaration that they consent to the retention of 2 pour cent of their total salary.
Husbands married according to community of property are authorised to make the declaration for their wives, fathers for children in their minority, guardians for their wards.
- The above-mentioned declaration shall be made to the mayor of the commune where the worker is employed, within three months from the publication of this decree, and shall state the amount of his salary.
- In the course of the following month, the mayor shall send to the administrative commission of the provident fund, of which mention shall be made hereafter, the certified documents, drawn up by him, of the workers and employees who will have made their declaration – this document will specify the total amount of the salary of each declarant.
- After the above-mentioned deadline, no one may be admitted to join the provident society, except by special resolution of the administrative commission.
- The funds of the provident society will consist of :
- Welfare funds, of which our Minister of the Interior will authorise the use, according to the Prefect’s proposal, and on the report of the Director General of Mines ;
- Of the product of the two per cent deduction from the wages of all the workers and associated employees.
- The product of one-half per cent, calculated on the amount of the wages of the workmen and associated employees, which the proprietors of the mines have submitted or shall submit to pay, by way of special aid, and without affecting the provisions laid down in our Decree of the 3rd of January, 1813, on the policing of the mines of the Empire.
- Any other deductions from the wages of workers and employees are expressly forbidden.
- The owners of the holdings shall themselves make the retention of two per cent, on the workers and employees, and shall pay the amount from month to month, with the proceeds of the half per cent, of which they are or will be personally charged , to the fund entrusted to the receiver, who will be appointed, as below, by the administrative commission.
- Until the establishment of a pawnshop in the city of Liège, the funds belonging to the company will be used in the acquisition of annuities from the State.
- The administration of the provident society is free: it will be entrusted to a commission of ten members.
Five of these members are irremovable, and five are elected each year.
The immovable members are, 1st, the prefect of the department; 2 ° the diocesan bishop; 3 ° the imperial procurator at the court of first instance; 4 ° the mayor of the city of Liège; 5 ° the most senior ordinary engineer in rank.
The removable members are appointed by the irremovable members, and taken from among the members: they will be chosen, one among the owners of the large holdings, one among the managers of pits, two among the miners, and one among the coalworkers.
In the event of a tie, the chair will have the casting vote.
Removable members can be re-elected.
- The commission will appoint an accountant receiver from outside the board.
- The commission will decide on all applications for admission to the provident society.
It will determine the amount of relief to be granted, and will regulate its duration; it will fix the quota of pensions; it will never be permitted to anticipate the income of the society, nor allow that in any case, or under any pretext, the distribution of the relief can take place in favour of persons outside of the society.
- It will determine the amount of the bond to be provided by the accountant receiver, and the rate of his salary.
- It will make all the regulations it deems appropriate, to ensure, when there is cause, the placement of the funds of the society and the exact payment of the sums that it will order, to establish the mode of a regular accountancy, and all that may concern its internal organisation, the good distribution of relief, and, in general, the advantages provided by the society. It may even, if the progressive increase of the funds and circumstances allow it to do so, propose a reduction of the two per cent retained, with respect to the workers and associated employees.
Its regulations will be submitted to the approval of our Minister of the Interior.
- Each year the commission will publish its accounts by means of printing.
- Our Minister of the Interior is responsible for the execution of the present decree, which shall be inserted in the Bulletin of Laws.
By the Emperor :
The Minister Secretary of State, signed COUNT DARU.
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