Last week the Catholic Labor Network was pleased to join the Association of US Catholic Priests (AUSCP) in Minneapolis for their annual assembly, and to offer a colloquium on Ministering to Workers in the Wake of COVID.
The colloquium featured testimony from two members of UNITE HERE Local 17, the union representing hotel workers in the Twin Cities. Jose Maquin, a worker represented by the union, and Uriel Perez-Espinoza, a former hotel worker now on the union’s staff, shared the devastating impact of the pandemic on hotel workers: the industry largely shut down at the beginning of the pandemic, leaving workers without a source of income or their employer-provided health insurance coverage. Mr. Maquin and Mr. Perez-Espinoza then took questions from the participants and the group enjoyed a lively discussion of the place of unions in Catholic Social Teaching.
Members of the AUSCP are deeply committed to the Church’s social doctrine; the organization intentionally picked a union hotel where they knew workers’ rights would be respected. Another highlight from the event was a group visit to the location where George Floyd was killed by a former Minneapolis police officer to listen to local voices, to pray and to reflect on racism in America.
Would you like to work with the Catholic Labor Network to organize a labor colloquium for priests or lay leaders in your community? Contact [email protected]