ELCA on Worker’s Rights

Workers Rights

ELCA Churchwide Assembly Action CA91.06.35

Passed by the 1991 Churchwide Assembly in Orlando, Florida.

Whereas
To approve the following recommendation of the Reference and Counsel Committee as amended:

Whereas, Our Lutheran traditions affirm the basic dignity of the individual, and we place a high value on the human person and consider human well-being an important criterion for determining moral and ethical commitments; and

Whereas, Our faith makes us particularly sensitive to those who are adversely affected by economic dislocation and powerlessness; and

Whereas, The collective-bargaining process is fundamental for the attainment of economic justice in American society; and

Whereas, In those instances where the two parties are unable to reach an agreement, employees have the right to engage in a legal work stoppage or strike; this right to withhold labor as a last resort is an integral part of the collective-bargaining process; and

Whereas, For many years, it was generally recognized that employees who engaged in a legal work stoppage as part of the collective-bargaining process would not be penalized by the permanent loss of their jobs; and in more recent time a growing number of employees have responded to these legal work stoppages by hiring persons to replace permanently the striking workers, and, unfortunately, this practice is allowed under existing labor laws, but until recent years was not widely used by employers; and

Whereas, This practice is a direct threat to the collective-bargaining process as it has developed in this country since the mid-1930s, causing hardship in families and entire communities where employees have, in effect, been fired from their jobs for engaging in collective-bargaining, and a weakened collective-bargaining process deprives American workers of their right to participate effectively in decisions that impact their lives and future; and

Whereas, Legislation to protect the rights of striking workers is being considered in U.S. Congress and various state legislatures; now, therefore, be it

Resolved
RESOLVED, that the 1991 Churchwide Assembly of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America:

  1. offer its support and prayers for labor and management who engage in collective-bargaining to reach acceptable agreements in their working relationship;
  2. urge employers, corporations, and workers to commit themselves to negotiated settlements;
  3. express concern for workers and their families who endure hardship and job insecurity due to the breakdown of the traditional collective-bargaining practices;
  4. call for and end to recriminations against workers who participate in strikes;
  5. call upon the appropriate churchwide units, synods, congregations, and members to support legislation that would strengthen the viability of negotiated settlements and prevent the permanent replacement of striking workers;
  6. call upon the Division for Church in Society to have available information to assist the members of this church to understand these issues; and
  7. commit itself to public policy advocacy and advocacy with corporations, businesses, congregations, this church, and church-related institutions to protect the rights of workers, support the collective-bargaining process, and protect the right to strike.

http://www.elca.org/What-We-Believe/Social-Issues/Resolutions/1991/CA91,-p-,06,-p-,35-Workers-Rights.aspx

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4 thoughts on “ELCA on Worker’s Rights

  1. For those employed in the private sector, probably. For those in the public sector, no. So those rallying to the unions in Wisconsin and elsewhere are rallying to the call to exempt them from what types of things the rest of us have at work. We, who pay their salary via our taxes, must pay into our own retirement accounts and cover a portion of our health care benefits. How many exemption to ObamaCare have various unions got now? Something close to 1,000. Typical Liberal hypocrisy, what is good for you is not good for me.

    But dare to ask someone in a public union to do the same and all you know what breaks loose. What about justice for those who want to work and the union decides to strike anyway? What about the “scabs” who are in difficult financial times and now have an opportunity to work because of a union strike?

  2. Pingback: The Week In Review: Catholics, Ice Cream, and LOL Cats | Homebrewed Theology

  3. Pingback: The ECLA Position on Worker’s Rights | Unsettled Christianity

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