Scholars Decry Union-Busting

A group of Catholic scholars contends that management efforts to break labor unions are a grave breach of the church’s social doctrine and tantamount to committing mortal sin. A statement from Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice, based in Weymouth, Mass., released May 1, the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, offers a detailed argument that actions to thwart union organizing campaigns, stifle contract talks, unilaterally roll back wages and benefits, and break existing labor agreements are a “grave violation of Catholic social doctrine on labor unions. This violation of Catholic doctrine constitutes material grounds for mortal sin because it stands in grave violation of both the letter and spirit of Catholic social doctrine,” said the document, titled “Union Busting Is a Mortal Sin.” In laying out their argument, the scholars said efforts to deny workers the right to organize violate the first, fifth and seventh commandments regarding idolatry, scandal and theft, respectively.

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