Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Employee Free Choice Act 'supported by Catholic social teaching'

“The present legal and moral framework that is intended to assist workers to form unions is badly broken,” a group of Catholic scholars declare in a public statement. Consequently, they are lending their support to the proposed Employee Free Choice Act for its being “rooted in and supported by Catholic Social Teaching.”

The statement, signed by more than 140 members of the Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice, was published in the June 28 issue of the National Catholic Reporter and will appear in America magazine in July.

“An a priori presumption for unions” is embedded in Catholic social teaching, according to the statement. “Catholic teaching states that the right to organize belongs to workers alone and cannot be abridged or annulled by civil or ecclesiastical authorities. The method or venue that workers choose to form a union is also their choice: workers may say yea or nay, stand or sit, sign statements or cards, or hold a secret ballot election.”

Provisions of the Employee Free Choice Act “strongly reflect the Catholic position that the decision to form or join unions is always the workers’ choice,” the group says, and lists the bill’s chief provisions, all of which business groups vigorously oppose.

The full text of the statement and its signers can be found here

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