Monday, October 26, 2009

Catholic Korean Church's Labor Position

Last week the Korean Catholic Church had a group discussion sponsored by the Bishops' Justice and Peace Committee on temporary workers in the labor force. One of the participants a Columban Father with many years experience in labor work, said that the role of the Church in finances and labor is important and arises from the moral law of the human person.

He goes on to mention that the Church from 1960 to 1980 was involved in these societal problems. But in recent years the Church has entrusted this work to the labor unions and other groups in Society and seems to feel uncomfortable in getting involved.

The Church is now part of the business world in competition with others with hospitals and colleges . The Church's influence in society has increased and labor problems have become more difficult and complicated. When the Church starts talking about the Church's teaching on temporary labor and shows solidarity with labor there is not only a conflict with the government but with persons within the Church who have power and influence. But despite these facts the Bishops' Committee in 2008 did give us a statement on temporary workers. In the following we have a summary of the teaching:

1) When we discriminate in the treatment of the regular and temporary worker, we are not following the Church's teaching.

2) When there is a difference in the pay for the regular and temporary worker doing the same work, even if this is legal it is not just.

3) All the material wealth is for all and when the businesses create new jobs the companies have the duty to use the wealth they have.

4) The Government has to get involved when it is for the common good.

5) The Church should not only be concerned about the migrant workers but also the nation's workers and should get involved in the pastoral care of the workers, especially the temporary workers.

6) The Church's actions in this area should speak louder than the words. The Church in all its institutions and with all its workers should work for the improvement of their condition.