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Labor Day Statement 2015 from the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops


Archbishop Thomas G. Wenski of Miami,of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, citing Pope Francis, wrote in this year’s Labor Day statement that the issue of a living wage is directly connected to issues of family that are getting so much attention these days.

He added:

... Even with some economic progress, things have not truly improved for most American families. We must not resign ourselves to a 'new normal' with an economy that does not provide stable work at a living wage for too many men and women. The poverty rate remains painfully high. The unemployment rate has declined, yet much of that is due to people simply giving up looking for a job, not because they have found full-time work. The majority of jobs provide little in the way of sufficient wages, retirement benefits, stability, or family security, and too many families are stringing together part-time jobs to pay the bills. Opportunities for younger workers are in serious decline.

The continuing struggles of most families to make ends meet are on display before our eyes, both at home and abroad. This Labor Day, we have a tremendous opportunity to reflect on how dignified work with a living wage is critical to helping our families and our greater society thrive.

If you'd like to take up that call this Labor Day and reflect on the importance of this issue, here are some selected resources going into more detail about the Church's social teaching on human work and a just wage:

— Kyle Eller