1. Kimball Baker says

    Your blog on the Church and workers is very timely. The Catholic social teachings you refer to, and such earlier encyclicals as Rerum Novarum and Quadragesimo Anno, make clear that workers have not only a right to unionize but a duty to do so, since only by presenting a united front in the workplace can they organize and bargain effectively. What gets lost sight of is that these teachings—and similar teachings of other faith-based traditions—also call on labor and management to be partners in operating enterprises fairly. Since World II, however, corporate interests and their political allies have been on a drive to destroy worker power, resulting in unionized workers now making up only seven percent of the U.S. private-sector workforce. The need now, as you indicate, is for more preaching and practicing of worker justice not only by churches, but by people and institutions throughout our communities and by our political leaders. Nearly everyone in this country is a worker of one sort or another, so it’s high time for us to use our power to save our country from the plutocrats. Kimball Baker

    • William Bole says

      Thanks for the analysis, Kim. I find myself quoting Niebuhr more and more, about, for example, the need to come to grips with “the power and persistence of man’s self-concern.” That’s why we need countervailing forces like unions, as you’ve documented in your writings.

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