Peace & Justice

This is the blog of the Commission on Peace and Justice for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Albany, New York.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Respecting the Just Rights of Workers

Catholic News Service reports on efforts designed to set out the principles to be followed in labor negotiations at Catholic health care facilities:
After more than two years of consultations, leaders from Catholic health care, the labor movement and the U.S. bishops' conference have agreed on a set of principles designed to ensure a fair process as health care workers decide whether to join a union.

A 12-page document laying out the principles, titled "Respecting the Just Rights of Workers: Guidance and Options for Catholic Health Care and Unions," was made public June 22 during a teleconference call from Washington.

"The heart of this unusual consensus is that it's up to workers -- not bishops, hospital managers or union leaders -- to decide ... whether or not to be represented by a union and if so, which union, in the workplace," said Cardinal Theodore E. McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington and a participant in the consultations.

"Because Catholic health care is a ministry, not an industry, how it treats its workers and how organized labor treats Catholic health care are not simply internal matters," the cardinal added. "They are also not just another arena for labor conflict and tactics, but ought to reflect long-standing Catholic teaching on work and workers, health care and the common good."
The entire article is available here.