Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good has issued a press release praising Bishop Stephen Blaire, chair of the USCCB Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development for his endorsement of labor rights and the stance taken by the Wisconsin bishops in the face if an unprecedented attack on a right the Church has recognized since at least 1891.
Here is the release from CACG:
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good
Affirming Catholic Moral Insistence for Unions and Collective Bargaining
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good endorses the statements by Archbishop Jerome E. Listecki of Milwaukee and Bishop Stephen E. Blaire of Stockton, California, on the rights of workers to unionize and bargain collectively. For Catholic teachings as expressed in papal encyclicals from Rerum novarum in 1891 through Pope Benedict XVI's recently released encyclical, Caritas in veritate, unionization and collective bargaining are required elements of a moral economic or political order.
Archbishop Listecki reminds Catholics that "hard times do not nullify the moral obligation each of us has to respect the legitimate rights of workers" and, cites John Paul II's insistence in Laborem exercens, that a "union remains a constructive factor of social order and solidarity, and it is impossible to ignore it."
Bishop Blaire, chairman of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development, praising Archbishop Listecki and his fellow bishops in Wisconsin, states powerfully that "these are not just political conflicts or economic choices; they are moral choices with enormous human dimensions. The debates over worker representation and collective bargaining are not simply matters of ideology or power, but involve principles of justice, participation and how workers can have a voice in the workplace and economy."
In solidarity with the Church's long tradition of teachings on workers' rights, echoing and applauding the clear and magisterial statements from these bishops, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good fully supports workingmen and women in Wisconsin and elsewhere struggling to affirm the moral cause of unionization and collective bargaining.
For the Board of Directors,
Alfred Rotondaro, Ph.D.
Stephen Schneck, Ph.D.