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Words of popes resonate in talk on economy, unions

Words of popes resonate in talk on economy, unions

By Mark Pattison Catholic News Service | 0 | Print | Share
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WASHINGTON (CNS) — Even before he announced his resignation, the words of Pope Benedict XVI were cited to crystallize the unease many feel about the U.S. economy.

There is “a direct link between poverty and unemployment,” the pontiff said in his 2009 encyclical “Caritas in Veritate.”

Quoting the pope was Tom Mulloy, a domestic policy adviser to the U.S. bishops’ Department of Justice, Peace and Human Development. Read more

4 Ideas Labor Unions Should Consider If They Want To Survive

4 Ideas Labor Unions Should Consider If They Want To Survive

A mural depicting scenes from Maine‘s labor history returned to public display in Jan. 2013, 22 months after Gov. Paul LePage set off a political firestorm and spawned a federal lawsuit by ordering it removed. (Clarke Canfield/AP)

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last month that union membership fell significantly in 2012, to its lowest level since 1916. You can read the full report here. Read more

“Right to Work” Laws: Get the Facts

 

“Right to Work” Laws: Get the Facts

What is a “right to work” law?

Despite its misleading name, this type of law does not guarantee anyone a job and it does not protect against unfair firing.  By undermining unions, so-called “Right to Work” laws would weaken the best job security protections workers have – the union contract.

A “right to work” law is a state law that stops employers and employees from negotiating an agreement – also known as a union security clause – that requires all workers who receive the benefits of a collective bargaining agreement to pay their share of the costs of representing them.  Right to Work laws say that unions must represent every eligible employee, whether he or she pays dues or not.  In other words, “Right to Work” laws allow workers to pay nothing and still get all the benefits of union membership.

“Right to Work” laws aren’t fair to dues-paying members.  If a worker who is represented by a union and doesn’t pay dues is fired illegally, the union must use its time and money to defend him or her, even if that requires going through a costly, time-consuming legal process.  Since the union represents everyone, everyone benefits, so everyone should share in the costs of providing these services.  Amazingly, nonmembers who are represented by a union can even sue the union is they think it has not represented them well enough! Read more