A victory for the dignity of work

The unprecedented assault on workers’ rights now spreading across the country betrays our nation’s commitment to serve the common good and defend the dignity of work. But the National Labor Relations Board has recently taken a small but important step in leveling the playing field for workers.

From Wisconsin to Ohio to New Hampshire, political leaders have demonized unions and stripped workers of basic rights that give them a voice at the bargaining table. Teachers, nurses and first responders are the victims of an ideological agenda that hurts hardworking Americans who simply want a voice on the job.

This is nothing less than a moral failure that undermines values at the heart of our democracy and diverse faith traditions.

The Department of Labor and the common good


In his most recent encyclical, Pope Benedict XVI reminds us that a nation’s political and civic institutions are – or should be -- instruments for serving the common good. This claim resonates with the civic values of the American political tradition. The paramount role of those institutions is to promote and secure justice -- particularly for those who are the most vulnerable to abuse, as so many working people in our society are today.

The U.S. Department of Labor is such an instrument, but despite the leadership of the highly capable and talented Secretary of Labor, Hilda Solis, the agency’s ability to serve the working families of our country has been significantly hindered during the last several months.

Full text of speech by Bishop Gabino Zavala

This is the text of a speech delivered by Auxiliary Bishop Gabino Zavala of Los Angeles March 11 at the University of Great Falls in Great Falls, Mont. Zavala is bishop-president of Pax Christi USA, the Catholic peace organization. The University of Great Falls is a Roman Catholic liberal arts university.

I am so pleased and honored to be with you tonight. I would like to express my gratitude to the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings and the Catholic University of Great Falls for sponsoring tonight’s gathering. And I want to give special thanks to Bishop Warfel for this invitation to come, and also for his leadership in our Church on concerns of justice and peace, for he has served on the International Policy Committee of U.S. Bishops Conference, and as a bishop member of Pax Christi USA.

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