Monday, March 06, 2006

Pope Benedict XVI on Worker Justice

CNS STORY: Pope says business owners must avoid worker exploitation

The details:
Business owners must avoid every form of worker exploitation, and they must recognize the importance of family life for their workers, Pope Benedict XVI told a group of Italian entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Upholding the importance of people in the workplace and in the world of business and respecting their needs and talents are values that "often risk not being pursued by business owners who lack solid moral inspiration," especially in the current climate of "economic difficulties," he said.

The pope also praised an initiative by a group of young entrepreneurs to meld their business acumen with Catholic social teaching.

Pope Benedict made his comments during a March 4 audience at the Vatican with some 8,000 members of Italy's Union of Christian Entrepreneurs and Business Executives.

Citing his first encyclical, "Deus Caritas Est" ("God Is Love"), the pope reminded his audience that justice and charity were "two inseparable facets of a Christian's social duty" and that the lay faithful must work for a just ordering of society.
When an employer treats his workers with justice, he enjoys greater loyalty and productivity from them. Makes sense, right? Employees enjoy working in a respectful environment that honors their contribution and cares for their personal circumstances. Employees that enjoy their work will do it better.

I know such common sense tosses a chair through the Wall Street wisdom. The empty suits must see personnel simply as costs. The trouble is that employers that treat their workers like commodities tend to suffer from employee discontent. Disloyalty, excessive absenteeism and low productivity plague the enterprises of such employers.

Love our neighbors. Treat our workers with justice. It pays dividends on both sides of heaven.