Recently, the relationship between our Faith and Organized Labor has gotten some notice by the larger society. This is largely due to the work of the Faith and Labor committee within Jobs with Justice and also the work of Fr. Tim, Fr. Jack and Fr. Bob in solidarity with the Burgerville Workers Union. As we celebrate Labor Day let's take time to give a prayer of thanksgiving for each of those named and unnamed working class heroes who sacrificed their lives so that our families would be able to live in a world with safe work places, days off, input into how their skills are applied in workplaces and so on. And let us work for justice for our undocumented neighbors, many of whom are forced to work without the protections and pay that are guaranteed to the rest of society.
CATHOLIC SOCIAL TEACHING
“Since Rerum Novarum (Pope Leo XIII, 1891), Catholic teaching has affirmed the dignity of human labor and articulated the rights of workers that flow from it: “…the right to a just wage; the right to rest; the right ‘to a working environment and to manufacturing processes which are not harmful to the workers’ physical health or to their moral integrity’; the right that one’s personality in the workplace should be safeguarded ‘without suffering any affront to one’s conscience or personal dignity’; the right to appropriate subsidies that are necessary for the subsistence of unemployed workers and their families; the right to a pension and to insurance for old age, sickness, and in case of work-related accidents; the right to social security connected with maternity; the right to assemble and form associations.” (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church)
“What profit have workers from their toil? I have seen the business that God has given to mortals to be busied about. God has made everything appropriate to its time, but has put the timeless into their hearts so they cannot find out, from beginning to end, the work which God has done. I recognized that there is nothing better than to rejoice and to do well during life. Moreover, that all can eat and drink and enjoy the good of all their toil—this is a gift of God” (Eccles 3:9-13).