November 2017 witnessed a historic gathering at the Holy See in which the Church engaged labor union delegates from around the world in a dialogue about economic justice. The conference, From Populorum progressio to Laudato si’ — Work and Workers’ Movements at the Center of Integral, Sustainable and Fraternal Human Development, was hosted by Cardinal […]
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In the American Prospect this October, John Gehring presents the argument that Pope Francis, by elevating Catholic teaching on social and economic justice, is breathing new life into an old alliance: the Catholic Church and organized labor. As I described in a Commonweal article this month, early 2017 saw several notable instances where Bishops and […]
How should we implement our Catholic faith in our employment practices? It’s a challenge faced by all of us – especially those administering Catholic institutions. In early 2017 Loyola University Chicago created a Just Employment Task Force to consider this question, evaluating Loyola’s personnel policies in light of Catholic social teaching and offering recommendations to […]
Good news from New York’s Siena College! Adjunct faculty at the Catholic College near Albany voted for representation by the SEIU two years ago – and have reached their first contract. Both sides pronounced themselves satisfied with the outcome. The secret of their success? Negotiating in a spirit of charity and mutual respect. As the […]
In late 2016, health techs and other employees at Queen of the Valley Hospital voted 60%-40% to join the National Union of Healthcare Workers (NUHW). Hospital administrators, however, don’t want to recognize or bargain with the NUHW. Having lost the mail ballot election, they are demanding a rerun held in person at the worksite. The […]
The situation for immigrants in the United States continues to grow bleaker. The president has ended the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals; the administration is targeting cities whose police don’t want to serve as adjunct Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers; legislative proposals call for reducing legal immigration. Our nation’s labor unions represent millions of immigrant […]
O’Grady cites Laudato Si in campaign to “Save the EPA” The Environmental Protection Agency, established in 1970, is 47 years old – but will it make 50? Those of us old enough to remember smog-choked American cities and shocking environmental lead levels of the 70s recoil at the idea of an America without an EPA. […]
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 […]
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 […]
In an unfortunate setback for worker justice at Catholic institutions, Catholic Cemeteries of San Antonio has moved to strip cemetery workers of their union rights. The cemetery workers had been represented by the CWA for more than a decade when the union received a letter from the Catholic Cemeteries administrator Fr. Martin Leopold stating that […]