Peace & Justice

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

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Workers' wages

In testimony this week before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Bishop Stephen E. Blaire, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, said that a discussion of workers' wages is a good starting point for fixing the U.S. economy.
Bishop Blaire cited statistics from the Congressional Budget Office, which reported last year that the average income of the wealthiest one percent of Americans has increased 275 percent over the last 30 years. The income of the poorest 20 percent, on average, increased by less than 20 percent, despite an increase in worker productivity over the same time.

Bishop Blaire quoted Catholic teaching from Popes Leo XIII, John Paul II, Benedict XVI and Francis, on the rights and dignity of workers. "A just wage confirms the dignity of the worker," said Bishop Blaire. "And conversely, a wage that does not even allow a worker to support a family or meet basic human needs tears her down and demeans her dignity. The worker becomes just another commodity."
More information on the hearing and Bishop Blaire's testimony is available online.

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