A statement from the US bishops for Monday’s celebration of Labor Day parallels concerns about economic inequality voiced at the march where Martin Luther King gave his famous “I have a dream” speech 50 years ago.
On Wednesday, there was a rally in Washington, DC, to mark the anniversary.
The Civil Rights march half a century ago stressed not only the need for Civil Rights but also the need for jobs and living wages. Addressing the anniversary rally, President Barack Obama recalled the sit-ins at segregated lunch counters and cited Dr. King’s observation in 1965:
“What good does it do to be able to eat at a lunch counter if you can’t buy a hamburger?”
The bishops’ annual Labor Day statement cites rampant income inequality in the midst of uneven economic recovery, urges bold action to create just economy with jobs that provide living wage and calls for increased minimum wage, immigration reform, and an end to wage theft.
The Labor Day Statement was issued by Bishop Stephen Blaire of Stockton, California, chairman of the Committee on Domestic Justice and Human Development of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB).
In the statement, dated Sept. 2, Bishop Blaire said that most people want to live in a more equal society that provides opportunities for everyone.
“The current imbalances do not have to be inevitable,” Bishop Blaire wrote. “We must be bold in promoting a just economy that reduces inequality by creating jobs that pay a living wage and share with workers some profits of the company, as well as ensuring a strong safety net for jobless workers and their families and those who are incapable of work.”
— — —
On the Net:
The 2013 Labor Day statement is available online in English and Spanish at:www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/labor-employment/labor-day-archives.cfm.