The Archbishop of Milwaukee’s Statement Regarding the Rights of Workers and the Value of Unions

Posted by Kendall Harmon

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Filed under: * Culture-WatchLaw & Legal IssuesReligion & Culture* Economics, PoliticsEconomyLabor/Labor Unions/Labor MarketThe Credit Freeze Crisis of Fall 2008/The Recession of 2007--Politics in GeneralState Government* Religion News & CommentaryOther ChurchesRoman Catholic

4 Comments
Posted February 27, 2011 at 1:36 pm [Printer Friendly] [Print w/ comments]



1. drjoan wrote:

Does not the good Archbishop realize that government workers are soundly protected by strong Civil Service legislation?

February 27, 5:25 pm | [comment link]
2. Paula Loughlin wrote:

I think the Archbishop’s big mistake is equating the 21st century public sector unions with the 19th century unions that arose out of genuine abuse of workers. Yes those who work have a right to be fairly represented and have their interests considered in employer actions. Does this have to be through unionization? No. Does this mean they get to hold the employer hostage, especially when it is the public? No. Do they have to consider what is fair to all at the table? Yes.

Public sector unions do not pass the smell test. They are an impediment to economic growth because they rely on extortion to steal money from other beneficiaries of public money. They force their employer to go without providing essential public services or to raise taxes to provide them. Not only that they represent a monopoly, in that the paying customer can not exercise their economic power and boycott them(private school is still out of reach for many parents). This means their is no incentive on their part to offer improvement of performance in exchange for concessions from their employer.

This is not the downtrodden workers of yore. The correct equation would be a union of robber barons.

Protecting the rights of workers against explotation and abuse is a valid moral concern of the Church. Protection of the public good from being exploited by these public sector unions is also. In this case the former does not apply so we have to apply the latter.

February 27, 5:42 pm | [comment link]
3. Old Guy wrote:

You never hear of any problems between the Catholic Church and its unions.  Prevailing wage, working conditions and hours, employee grievances, pensions and benefits, etc.  The Archbishop should explain their success.

February 27, 8:36 pm | [comment link]
4. Dan Crawford wrote:

Right 1 and 2 and what the Republicans are doing Federally and in the states are showing their profound compassion for the working poor to say nothing of the unemployed. Thank God, the Archbishop of Milwaukee is not as eager as his brethren in the USCCB to confuse the “pro-life” label for Social Darwinism.

February 28, 1:30 am | [comment link]
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