The German Labour Front was the National Socialist labour organisation which replaced the various independent trade unions in Germany after Adolf Hitler's rise to power.
Its leader was Robert Ley, who stated that its aim was 'to create a true social and productive community'. Theoretically, DAF existed to act as a medium through which workers and owners could mutually represent their interests. Wages were set by the 12 DAF trustees. The employees were given relatively high set wages and security of employment, and dismissal was increasingly made difficult. Social security and leisure programmes were started, canteens, breaks, and regular working times were established, and German workers were generally satisfied by what the DAF gave them in repayment for their absolute loyalty.
To help finance such ambitious social programs, the DAF also operated one of the largest financial institutions´the Bank of German Labour´along with additional community programs such as medical screening, occupational training, legal assistance and programs to improve the company's working environment. The DAF was one of the largest National Socialist organizations, boasting of over 35,000 full-time employees by 1939. To help Hitler keep his promise to have every German capable of owning an affordable car (Volkswagen´the People®s Car) the DAF subsidized the construction of an automobile factory, which was partially paid from worker®s payroll deductions. None of the 340,000 workers who were paying for a car ever received one, since the factory had to be retooled for war production after Nazi Germany invaded Poland.
Employment contracts created under the Weimar Republic were abolished and renewed under new circumstances in the DAF. Employers could demand more of their workers, while at the same time workers were given increased security of work and increasingly enrolled into social security programmes for workers. The organisation, by its own definition, combated capitalism and liberalism, but also revolution against the factory owners and the National Socialist state. The DAF, however, did openly prefer to have large companies nationalised by the German state, instead of privately owned companies.
DAF membership was theoretically voluntary, but any workers in any area of German commerce or industry would have found it hard to get a job without being a member. Membership required a fee within the range of 15 pfennig to three Reichsmark, depending on the category a member fell into in a large scale of 20 membership groups. A substantially large amount of income was raised through fees. In 1934, the total intake was 300,000,000 Reichsmark. In US dollars, the annual income from dues to the Labour Front came to $160,000,000 in 1937 and $200,000,000 by 1939.