Entries by Clayton Sinyai

US Bishops: “Something is terribly wrong with how we value the work of a person”

Unions called to prophetic role The Catholic Church has a rich tradition of social doctrine on labor and work, a history of papal encyclicals, pastoral letters and other teaching documents affirming a worker’s right to a living, family-supporting wage, working conditions that respect human dignity, and the right to form trade unions. As part of […]

St. Louis University, two NYC Catholic high schools join list of Catholic institutions with union employees

Catholic institutions, such as hospitals, schools and social service providers, employ approximately 1 million American workers. This year a few Catholic colleges (such as Duquesne, Manhattan, St Xavier University and Seattle) continued to draw attention through determined efforts to deny their adjunct faculty the right to form a union. Fortunately, this handful of colleges represent […]

Notre Dame de Namur, Faculty Union Reach First Contract

Hopeful news comes to us from Notre Dame de Namur University in California, which has joined Georgetown, Trinity Washington and several other Catholic colleges with faculty unions. Indeed, Notre Dame de Namur marks a special milestone, because the university agreed to bargain with tenured faculty as well as adjuncts. (Tenured  faculty are considered management employees […]

Pope Francis addresses Italy’s AFL-CIO

On June 28, Pope Francis addressed Italy’s CISL/Confederation of Trade Unions, an umbrella organization of labor unions much like America’s AFL-CIO. The pope had much to share, especially for those of us called to pursue justice in the labor movement. The Holy Father observed that today’s market economy is anti-union precisely because it has cast […]

Ohio AFL-CIO, Catholic Conference help beat back move to deny workers’ comp to immigrants

This year some Ohio legislators proposed excluding undocumented workers from workers’ compensation protections. Not so fast, said the Ohio AFL-CIO and the Buckeye state’s Catholic bishops. Both joined the chorus community groups, immigrant organizations, safety advocates and others fighting this unfortunate and counterproductive proposal. (Since workers’ compensation insurance premiums are based on a company’s claims […]

Unions bargain for “sanctuary workplaces”

Catholic social justice advocates are well familiar with the concept of “sanctuary,” from its ancient expression in Mosaic Law, to the Sanctuary movement of the 1980s that protected refugees fleeing violence in Latin America, to the present movement for “sanctuary cities” that prioritize protecting immigrants over deporting the undocumented. Now labor journalist David Bacon has […]

Cardinal Cupich calls for “an ethic of solidarity”

In April, Cardinal Blase Cupich delivered an important address at Loyola University Chicago, reflecting on the legacy of his famous predecessor Cardinal Joseph Bernardin. Bernardin had earned fame in some circles – and notoriety in others – for promoting the idea of a consistent ethic of life that bound together Catholic teaching on life issues […]

New Bill Seeks to Protect Farmworkers from Deportation

Our friends in the United Farm Workers and the National Farm Workers Ministry are urging support for the Agricultural Workers Program Act, a bill designed to help the workers who harvest our foods secure legal residency. The bill, submitted to Congress in May, would enable undocumented workers who can demonstrate they have worked 100 days […]