Friday, May 2, 2014

Give Workers a Voice

Yesterday was International Workers' Day, and the National Day of Prayer. It was a good reminder that we need to be giving workers a voice, not only in the public sphere, but also in our prayer lives. We have a dire need in our society for the rights of workers to develop a dominant voice. America is becoming an oligarchy, ruled by those rich enough to invest in politics.

As Jose Miranda says, we do not have to “submit to the conditions which are favorable to the capitalist class.” Workers through labor and consumption are the means of production that capitalists depend on for their wealth. The capitalist’s dependence on workers gives workers a right to deciding power. That right is being ignored and the voice of the worker, suppressed.

If our economy is to return to the abundance of past eras, the worker needs to have a voice that can stand in contest with the voice of the top 1%.

"I will be a swift witness … against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages." (Mal. 3:5) 
Woe to those who profit off of the oppression of their workers. (Jer 22:13-14) 
"Now listen, you rich people, weep and wail because of the misery that is coming on you. Your wealth has rotted, and moths have eaten your clothes. Your gold and silver are corroded. Their corrosion will testify against you and eat your flesh like fire. You have hoarded wealth in the last days. Look! The wages you have held back from your workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty. You have lived on earth in luxury and self-indulgence. You have fattened yourselves in the day of slaughter." (James 5:1-6)

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