Monday, September 7 is Labor Day when we should honor the workers in our community with dignity and respect.
The Social Creed for the 21st century, a document endorsed by major denominations, says specifically we should work for:
- Employment for all, at a family-sustaining living wage, with equal pay for comparable work.
- The rights of workers to organize, and to share in workplace decisions and productivity growth.
- Protection from dangerous working conditions, with time and benefits to enable full family life.
As disciples of a living creator who calls on us to work so “that all may have life, and have it abundantly” (John 10:10), we must remember those among us struggling for the basics in their working life. We must remember Jesus’ call to love our neighbors as ourselves and support organizations trying to improve conditions in the work place.
The Rev. Niels Chapman, Jr. from Greensboro reminds us in a recent article in the High Point Enterprise, “Labor unions have long sought to organize the underrepresented into a force strong enough to demand fair pay for hard work and a seat at the table when decisions impacting our lives and livelihoods are being made. For decades the result was a thriving middle class, but as unions have declined so too has our middle class.”
May God give us strength and courage to stand with our brothers and sisters striving for fair working conditions — living wages, basic benefits and the dignity of organizing for a voice in the workplace through a labor union.