The US Conference of Catholic Bishops has released a statement for Labor Day, 2015, detailing the importance of work and the current state of labor in the US.
The majority of jobs provide little in the way of sufficient wages, retirement benefits, stability, or family security, and too many families are stringing together part-time jobs to pay the bills. Opportunities for younger workers are in serious decline.
Labor has become one of the more politicized issues in the US, and as usual Catholic teaching straddles both sides of our political spectrum. It stresses what conservatives like to call the “Right to Work” …
Labor is one important way we honor our brothers and sisters in God’s universal human family. In the creation story, God gives us labor as a gateway into participation with Him in the ongoing unfolding of creation. Human labor, at its best, is a deeply holy thing that ought to honor our dignity as we help God “maintain the fabric of the world” (no. 124, citing Sir 38:34).
… while also demanding the dignity of a fair and livable wage for all.
In demanding a living wage for workers we give hope to those struggling to provide for their families, as well as young workers who hope to have families of their own someday. Unions and worker associations, as with all human institutions, are imperfect, yet they remain indispensable to this work, and they can exemplify the importance of subsidiarity and solidarity in action.
Labor Day is a time to reflect, and in reflecting to take action toward improving the labor situation in our country and in the world.