The majority of the world’s 3.3 billion workers suffer from a lack of economic security, equal opportunities and scope for human development, the World Movement of Christian Workers (WMCW) has denounced.

Driving the news

In a message for the World Day of Action for Decent Work this 7th October, the WMCW, quoting International Labour Organisation (ILO) figures, lamented the high levels of working poor but also the 172 million people around the world who can’t find employment.


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The big picture

The WMCW message, developed this year by the Workers’ Brotherhood of Catholic Action (Hermandad Obrera de Acción Católica) in Spain, said the Church’s Social Doctrine teaches that “work is a fundamental right of every person. It is a good and everyone has the right to decent work”.

The Church “defends the primacy of labour over capital as a fundamental principle”, the WMCW went on to explain.

“The rights of workers and their families are the criterion from which human work should be organised, the conditions in which it is carried out and, in reality, the whole economy”, the WMCW said.

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Go deeper

The WMCW said that the idea of “decent work” includes a series of unrenounceable Church-backed “personal, family and social rights” that are essential for more human societies:

  • The right to work and to a fair remuneration for it.
  • The right to decent working conditions and working environments that do not threaten the life of the worker.
  • The right to the protection of one’s own personality in the workplace.
  • The right to rest.
  • Right of assembly and association.
  • Right to social benefits.
  • The right to collective bargaining and to strike.
  • The right to participate in the ownership of the company.
  • The right to participate in the organisation of work.

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What’s next

The WMCW called on employers, societies and States to respect these rights and “to recognise the primacy of people over things, of work over capital”.

It also said there is more than enough wealth in society for governments to “direct economic resources to the service of the impoverished and decent work”.

A tax of 0.2% on financial transactions “would finance the totality of global public expenditure, practically without the need for additional taxes”, the WMCW explained.

The WMCW concluded its message with a demand that States “build truly human societies, where the goods and wealth generated are at the service of the common good”.

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