Kit Case, Causey Wright's Paralegal & Media Manager

Pope Francis: Labor unions are essential to society

Today’s post was shared by Steven Greenhouse and comes from www.americamagazine.org

Pope Francis greets the crowd as he leaves his general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican on June 28. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
Pope Francis greets the crowd as he leaves his general audience in St. Peter’s Square at the Vatican on June 28. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Labor unions that protect and defend the dignity of work and the rights of workers continue to have an essential role in society, especially in promoting inclusion, Pope Francis said.

"There is no good society without a good union, and there is no good union that isn’t reborn every day in the peripheries, that doesn’t transform the rejected stones of the economy into corner stones," the pope said on June 28 during an audience with Italian union leaders.

"There is no justice together if it isn’t together with today’s excluded ones," he told members of the Italian Confederation of Union Workers.

Unions, he said, risk losing their "prophetic nature" when they mimic the very institutions they are called to challenge, he said. "Unions over time have ended up resembling politicians too much, or rather political parties, their language, their style."

Labor unions must guard and protect workers, but also defend the rights of those "outside the walls," particularly those who are retired and the excluded who are "also excluded from rights and democracy."

Pope Francis denounced situations in which children are forced to work rather than being allowed to study, which is the "only good ‘job’ for children."

Turning to one of his frequently voiced concerns, the pope told the union…

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