unionsgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
I was wondering about what our view is on unions now. I know in the past that they have been hailed as a great and needed thing. Does the Church still hold this view for places like the US where unions seem to be only interested in money and not the costumers? I mean let's look at baseball. The union goes on strike almost every year for more money. Now Verizon Wireless might go on strike because the people want more benefits and more money. Hurting us customers. It just seems to me that now unions are only there to line their pockets. What does the Church say to the way things are going?
-- Scott (email@example.com), August 16, 2003
The Church approves the concept of trade unions and even encourages their formation, saying that workers have a right to them. However, any good thing can be corrupted, and you have mentioned some of the ways in which unions are abused in the U.S.. (An even bigger impropriety than what you mentioned is the use, by most unions, of member contributions to boost the candidacy of pro-abortion [Democrat] politicians.)
So the Church continues to support the trade union movement [remember "Solidarity" in Poland?], but not the abuses thereof. I think that the Church's teaching on unions was first voiced formally in an 1891 encyclical by Pope Leo XIII, "Rerum novarum" ("Of New Matters"), and our present pope commemorated the centennial of this document with a 1991 encyclical of his own, "Centesimus annus" ("The 100th Year") -- which does speak favorably of unions. You can read it here.
God bless you.
-- J. F. Gecik (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 16, 2003.