Entries by

Why Have a Union?

Why Unions at Good Companies?The Working Catholic by Bill Droel “Why did the new, worker friendly workplaces prove unable to keep their employees happy enough not to have to pay union dues?” So asks a Chicago Tribune editorial (4/10/24). The editors have in mind Trader Joe’s, Starbucks, the camping equipment retailer REI plus several museums […]

Reform Capitalism

The Working Catholic: Social Doctrine Part 16 by Bill Droel It was news when this past April employees at a Volkswagen assembly plant in Chattanooga, TN voted overwhelmingly to join United Auto Workers (www.uawregion8.net). The vote is noteworthy because the South is generally not receptive to unions. It is not only noteworthy in the present. […]

Big Tech

The Working Catholic: Big Tech by Bill Droel The popular use of a term sometimes differs from its original use. Such is the case with Luddite, which now usually refers to someone who fiercely opposes most technology. Blood in the Machine by Brain Merchant (Little Brown, 2023) takes us back to the term’s origin: the […]

Brewing at Starbucks

The Working Catholic: No Contract, Yet by Bill Droel In recent times employees for some well-known companies have voted for a union at their store or warehouse. These apparent employee victories do not, however, signal improved labor relations in our country.It is difficult for employees to achieve a pro-union vote. The parent company retains union-busting […]

Race Relations

The Working Catholic: Race Relations by Bill Droel Efforts these days to improve race relations are of related types. There is virtue signaling, as in ubiquitous TV ads featuring a mixed-race couple or the obligatory progressive statements from businesses and national religious denominations. There is social therapy, as when church-sponsored groups examine and then admit […]

36 Hours on the Job

The Working Catholic: UAW Strike by Bill Droel Autoworkers are not only seeking higher pay, writes Binyamin Appelbaum in N.Y. Times (10/2/23). “They are also, audaciously, demanding the end of the standard 40-hour workweek.” This is not the first time employees have sought fewer hours. In fact, our feast of St. Joseph the Worker/International Workers […]

Social Justice

The Working Catholic: Social Doctrine #14 by Bill Droel The term social justice is regularly used but rarely defined. It often means a government program is on the way. “Social justice requires an increase in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps).” It can mean a general concern. “The status of women is a matter […]

Child Labor

The Working Catholic: Child Labor by Bill Droel It is a fallacy to believe that if teenage members of a family spend more time on a job, the family will necessarily gain upwardly mobility. Nor is it true that our economy prospers when young people neglect their studies for the sake of income. Yes, employment […]


The Working Catholic: Immigration by Bill Droel The immigrant “can sense that the United States is of two minds,” writes Hector Tobar of the University of California in Our Migrant Souls: A Meditation (Farrar, Straus, 2023). “Like the indentured servants, the Poles, the Germans and the Chinese people of other centuries, she knows there are […]

Family Wage

The Working Catholic: Social Doctrine Part Thirteen, Poverty by Bill Droel It’s published in Wall St. Journal (4/30/23), so it must be true. It’s an essay about wages by Michael Lind. He begins with a quotation from Adam Smith (1723-1790), a theorist for modern capitalism. For capitalism to thrive, Smith says employees must get a […]