Saturday, October 19, 2013

Living Wage : If you don't pay a living wage that makes you....

If you are an employer and you do not pay someone enough to live on, how do you expect them to get to work? Really, I mean it. An employee can only perform on their job if they are nourished, rested, dressed and healthy. So if you don't pay enough for someone to afford both an apartment and bus pass, not to mention a dental visit, how do you expect them to get to work?

Employers who pay an unlivable wage do not care, because they go through employees like a slaughter house does chickens.

And while many would defend the minimum wage/no benefit employers they forget, that in the end these employers don't just profit share holders they rob tax payers to do so. By failing to provide fair wages they force workers onto welfare programs, in the truest sense that make taxpayers fuel their engines of commerce. We feed their workers through the food stamp program.

Catholics social teaching promotes a living wage because of man is not an expendable cog in a factory, but made in the image and likeness of God.

Bishop Malcolm McMahon, Chairman of the Catholic Education Service, said: "A Living Wage is essential in the promotion of family life in our society. It ensures that the worker has enough money to cover the basic living costs for both themselves and their family. Catholic organisations have the responsibility to promote human flourishing through the dignity of work and the Living Wage plays an important part in this. I congratulate those Catholic schools, charities and universities who are already Living Wage employers and thank them for the great example they set us in their work for the Common Good."
The collection of online resources includes a series of videos of guest speakers looking at the view of Catholic Social Teaching and the Living Wage, downloadable copies of the Papal encyclicals which focus on the Living Wage, a downloadable HR and implementation guide for schools and colleges who are considering becoming a Living Wage employer, and a short film produced by the students of St Charles Catholic Sixth Form College, London on the Living Wage.

The resources are available on both the Catholic Education Service and Catholic Bishops' Conference websites: and

A Fair Days Wage for a Fair Days Work? (Studies in Labour History)

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Catholic Employer Obligations Beyond Denying Rubbers

Obamacare has forced many Catholic and Christian employers to reconsider if they can stay in business and in God and Obama's  good graces. Christians are told “... to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.” But we cannot give what is immoral, in this case coverage for birth control.  For those with a well-formed conscience following Obama's mandate makes them complicit in a grave evil. 

Vatican Cardinal: If Catholic employers provide contraceptive coverage they cooperate in sin

I agree, Obama has placed Catholics and many Christians in an untenable spot.
It's abhorrent to me the choice employers are being asked to make.But this is not the first time employers have faced a near occasion of sin and I hazard many have fallen prey to it.

Workers are due their wages as a matter of justice. The Catechism tells us that “a just wage is the legitimate fruit of work” (2434). But a just wage is not that which will merely provide sufficient food, clothing, and shelter. To live at a subsistence level is to live at the minimum condition of human dignity, and, as St. Thomas Aquinas wrote in the Summa Theologica, “No one is obliged to live unbecomingly.” (Crisis Magazine)

 Many Catholic and Christian employers pay an unlivable wage.

St. Thomas Aquinas wrote in the Summa Theologica, “No one is obliged to live unbecomingly.”

The Church teaches that depriving a worker of his just wages, whether by withholding them or failing to pay a just wage, is gravely sinful (CCC 2434), and in fact has called it one of the four “sins that cry to heaven for vengeance."

I bet few Catholic companies pay a  family wage.  Pius XI wrote: “Every effort must therefore be made that fathers of families receive a wage large enough to meet ordinary family needs adequately” (QA 71). John Paul II also advocated the family wage, seeing it as a protection against treating human beings themselves as a commodity, to be evaluated solely on the basis of their productive potential.

Catholicism is for and with the workers, Catholic employers appear to be for and with the Church when it is advantageous to do so.

As an aside, I think the disparity between how man is meant to live and work and how the work world works is why we suffer so much on the job. We aren't meant to slave for egomaniacs and sacrifice our family life for overtime at work; life is not supposed to be served for the corporate vision and "values" (ever read a list of corporate values, they're vacuous platitudes)

The meaning of life is for us to discover that we are true children of an infinitely loving and merciful God,to find out what our responsibilities are to our Creator,and to fulfill those responsibilities. (source)

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Work and pray? At work?

Ora et labora
Jonas Bengtsson

In Christian mysticism, the phrase pray and work (or "pray and labor", in Latin ora et labora) refers to the monastic practice of working and praying, generally associated with its use in the Rule of St. Benedict.[1]
Benedict viewed prayer and work as partners, and believed in combining contemplation with action.[2] The phrase expresses the need to balance prayer and work in monastic settings and has been used in many religious communities from the Middle Ages onwards.(Wikipedia)

Do you pray for work? Do you pray because of work? Most of the time I sigh it's really a prayer: Dear God, I need help.
Is your work a prayer?

Friday, October 11, 2013

Want more money? Become Catholic?

 Um.....must mean God's all for working women.

The Relationship Between Religious Affiliation and Returns to Human Capital for Women

This paper explores the relationship between wages and religious affiliation for Australian women using a human capital earnings function corrected for selectivity in labour force participation. Data drawn from the 2004, 2007, and 2010 waves of the Household Income Labour Dynamics Australia (HILDA) Survey were analysed for women between the age of 25 and 54. Our results indicate that women who identify as being Catholic benefit from a wage premium of 4.5 per cent relative to women who identify as being Anglican—the largest Protestant denomination in Australia—even after controlling for a range of demographic, social and economic characteristics. Potential explanations such as the attitude of women towards work and returns to education and experience do not appear to be major determinants of this wage-differential. Thus, it appears other unobservable traits may be a key factor in explaining the observed Catholic wage premium. Um......could it be?