Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers
People have a right to humane working conditions, productive work and fair wages. The economy exists to serve the people, not the other way around. Many corporations have lost sight of the rights of workers and look only at the profit margin. From 1988 to 2014, the salaries of corporate executives grew by 15% while those of the bottom level workers grew by only 1%, not enough to even meet the rise in cost of living.
“Work is more than a way to make a living; it is a form of continuing participation in God’s creation. If the dignity of work is to be protected, then the basic rights of workers must be respected–the right to productive work, to decent and fair wages, to organize and join unions, to private property, and to economic initiative” (Sharing Catholic Social Teaching: Challenges and Directions, USCCB, 1998).