This labor day, I want to reflect on the Dignity of Work, one of the core principles of Catholic Social Teaching. When people talk about employment justice, I notice a lot of talk about the rights to earn just wages and to form unions. While these are certainly critical pieces to Dignity of Work, there are more pieces to the puzzle. Our employers are not the only ones who are responsible; we as workers should also strive to find dignity in our jobs.
How do you find dignity in your work? When working in a minimum wage job, I sometimes feel undignified—not because I am earning just above minimum wage, but because I feel like the work is meaningless in the big picture. But I am wrong to see any job as meaningless. I can find meaning in any work I do. It’s all about my attitude. Continue reading
This past week, the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice of South Central Wisconsin hosted its eighth annual Faith-Labor Breakfast. It’s a chance for labor union and religion leaders to gather and learn more about an issue affecting workplace issues, and how the community could respond.
A few months ago, someone on the board suggested we talk about Postville, Iowa, and the immigration raids that took place there last May 2008. I had followed what had happened at the time, but was a bit naive in how it is still effectively destroying the community. I called Father Paul Ouderkirk to see if he would be available to come to Madison, not really knowing how he was as a speaker. Right away, I knew he was perfect. He was completely fired up, saying that the destruction the community continues to face is real and cannot be forgotten.