Faith Statements on Just Wages and Wage Theft

 

American Baptist Church, USA

“We reaffirm our position that workers have the right to organize by a free and democratic vote of the workers involved. This right of organization carries the responsibility of union leadership to protect the rights of workers, to guarantee each member an equal voice in the operation of its organization, and to produce just output labors for income received.” More at: http://www.abc-usa.org/Resources/resol/labor. (American Baptist Churches Resolution on Labor, 1981)

 

Unitarian Universalists

“The Unitarian Universalists Association urges its member congregations and individual Unitarian Universalists in the United States…to work specifically in favor of mechanisms such as:…reform of labor legislation and employment standards to provide greater protection for workers, including the right to organize and bargain collectively, protection from unsafe working conditions, and protection from unjust dismissal.” More at: http://www.uua.org/socialjustice/socialjustice/ statements/14246.shtml (Working for a Just Economic Community, 1997)

http://files.www.iwj.org/resources/WFaithGSay2011.pdf

 

Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA)

“We believe it is God’s intent that all people are provided with those things that protect human dignity and make for healthy life: adequate food and shelter, meaningful work, safe communities, healthcare and education…a living wage assures social and economic benefits for the community as well as a supportive environment for employers who try to maintain fair wages.” More at: http://www.lutheranssw.org/documents/2008all. esolutionspdf.pdf (ELCA Resolution, 2008)

“Employers have a responsibility to treat employees with dignity and respect. This should be reflected in employees’ remuneration, benefits, work conditions, job security, and ongoing job training.” More at: http://archive.elca.org/socialstatements/ economiclife/ (Social Statement on Sufficient Sustainable Livelihood for All, 1999)

http://files.www.iwj.org/resources/WFaithGSay2011.pdf

 

Catholic Church

A Statement of the U.S. Bishops “All people have the right to economic initiative, to productive work, to just wages and benefits to decent working conditions, as well as to organize and join unions or other associations.” More at: http://www.catholiclabor.org/gen-art/nccb-1.htm (A Catholic Framework for Economic Life, A Statement of the U.S. Bishops, 1996)

http://files.www.iwj.org/resources/WFaithGSay2011.pdf

 

United Methodists Church

You shall not defraud your neighbor; you shall not steal (Lev 19:13).  You shall not withhold the wages of poor and needy laborers . . . You shall pay them their wages daily before sunset, because they are poor and their livelihood depends on them; otherwise they might cry to the Lord against you, and you would incur guilt (Deut 24:14-15).  Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness, and his upper rooms by injustice; who makes his neighbors work for nothing, and does not give them their wages . . . Did not your father eat and drink and do justice and righteousness? Then it was well with him. He judged the cause of the poor and needy; then it was well. Is this not to know me? says the Lord (Jer 22:13, 15b-16).  Listen! The wages of the laborers who mowed your fields, which you kept back by fraud, cry out, and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord . . . You have lived on earth in luxury

http://www.vaumc.org/ncfilerepository/ChurchSociety/JusticeMinistriesFactsandFaithStopWageTheft20Dec13.pdf

 

Virginia Conference United Methodist Church

With many of our churches operating food pantries, most of us know that many people do not earn enough to make ends meet. With the recent Wall Street fiasco, many of us have become more aware of the growing disparities between Americans who receive more than they need and those who receive too little. Yet most of us might be shocked if told that millions of workers in the United States are being cheated out of their hard earned wages. But wage theft is taking place ─ by employers who pay less than the minimum wage, pay workers for fewer hours than they work, give checks that bounce, not pay overtime, misclassify workers or pay in cash to avoid payroll taxes, make workers pay for a job, not pay the prevailing wage, take illegal deductions from workers’ paychecks, take workers’ tips, not pay the last pay check, or not pay workers at all.

http://www.vaumc.org/ncfilerepository/churchsociety/2011ResolutionStopWageTheft.pdf

 

 

The United Church of Christ

“The 21st General Synod reaffirms the heritage of the United Church of Christ as an advocate for democratic, participatory, and inclusive economic policies in both public and private sectors…the responsibility of workers to organize unions for collective bargaining with employers regarding wages, benefits, and working conditions; and to participate in efforts further to democratize, reform, and expand the labor movement domestically and abroad.” More at: http://www.ucc.org/synod/resolutions/affirmingdemocratic-principles-in-an-emerging-global-economy. pdf (Resolution Affirming Democratic Principles in an Emerging Global Economy, 1997)

http://files.www.iwj.org/resources/WFaithGSay2011.pdf

 

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

“We believe in the right of laboring men to organize for protection against unjust conditions and to secure a more adequate share of the fruits of their toil. The right to organize implies the right to hold and wield power, which in turn implies responsibility for the manner in which this power is exercised.”

http://files.www.iwj.org/resources/WFaithGSay2011.pdf

 

Presbyterian Church

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) “Justice demands that social institutions guarantee all persons the opportunity to participate actively in economic decision-making that affects them. All workers – including undocumented, migrant, and farm workers – have the right to choose to organize for the purposes of collective bargaining.” More at: http://www.nycpresbytery.org/pdf/PSM_ProcessGuide_7-1.pdf (Principles of Vocation and Work, General Assembly Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), 1995 “Employment for all, at a family-sustaining living wage, with equal pay for comparable work. The rights of workers to organize, and to share in workplace decisions and productivity growth. Protection from dangerous working conditions, with time and benefits to enable full family life.” More at: http://www.pcusa.org/resource/selected-socialwitness-policies-work-vocation-uni/ (Presbyterian Church USA, A Social Creed for the 21st Century, 2008)

http://files.www.iwj.org/resources/WFaithGSay2011.pdf

 

Jewish

“Do not oppress your neighbor and do not rob him. Do not keep the wages of the worker with you until the morning.” ­Leviticus 19:13 “Do not oppress the hired laborer, who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your people or one of the sojourners in your land within your gates. Give him his wages in the daytime, and do not let the sun set on them, for he is poor, and his life depends on them, lest he cry out to God about you, for this will be counted as a sin for you.” ­ Deuteronomy 24:14­15

http://files.www.iwj.org/WageTheftStudyGuideAJewishPerspective.pdf

 

Church of the Brethren

Resolves to … “Recognizing that the provision of wages and other benefits sufficient to support individuals and families in dignity is a basic necessity to prevent the exploitation of workers, and that the dignity of workers also requires adequate health care, security for old age or against disability, unemployment compensation, healthful working conditions, weekly rest, periodic holidays for recreation and leisure, and reasonable security against arbitrary dismissal.” (Church of the Brethren)

http://files.www.iwj.org/resources/WFaithGSay2011.pdf

 

Christian Methodist Episcopal Church (CME)

“Free collective bargaining has proved its values in our free society whenever the parties engaged in collective bargaining have acted in good faith to reach equitable and moral solutions of problems dealing with wages and working conditions. We do not support the opinion voiced in some quarrels that strikes should be made illegal. To declare strikes illegal would be to deprive workers of their right to collective action and, even more seriously, would place in the hands of government the power to force workers to remain on the job.” More at: http://www.c-m-e.org/core/Social_Creed.htm (Discipline of the CME Church Social Creed, 1982)

http://files.www.iwj.org/resources/WFaithGSay2011.pdf

 

Episcopal Church

“We reaffirm the right and desirability of workers in the United States to organize and form unions…we decry the growing wage of anti-unionism mounting in the nation to day which asks people to forget the struggles that led to this form of negotiation as a just way to settle differences. We urge church people and others not to judge this issue on the basis of a particular case but rather on the basis of the fundamental principles involved.” (A pastoral message from the Urban Bishops Coalition of the Episcopal Church, Labor Day 1982)

http://files.www.iwj.org/resources/WFaithGSay2011.pdf

 

Muslim

Fatawa: Rights of Workers in Islam “Proper and timely wages. Workers should be given proper and just wages. Exploitation of any person is not allowed in Islam. Allah says [To the Madyan people We sent Shu`aib, one of their own brethren. He said: “O my people, worship Allah; you have no other god What Faith Groups Say About Worker Justice but Him. Now has come unto you a Clear (Sign) from your Lord. Give just measure and weight, nor withhold from the people the things that are their due; and do no mischief on the earth after it has been set in order: that will be best for you, if you have Faith] (Al-A`raf 7:85). Allah warns those who take full measure but give less to others: [Woe to those that deal in fraud. Those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, exact full measure. But when they have to give by measure or weight to men, give less than due. Do they not think that they will be called to account? On a Mighty Day. A Day when (all) mankind will stand before the Lord of the Worlds] (Al-Mutaffifin 83:1-6). Workers should also be paid on time. The Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Give to the worker his wages before his sweat dries” (Ibn Majah).”

More at: http://58.26.99.53/modules.php?op=modload& name=News&file=article&sid=9846 (Al-A`raf 7:85), (Al-Mutaffifin 83:1-6) and (Ibn Majah).

http://www.iwj.org/resources/what-faith-groups-say-about-worker-justice

 

Quaker

American Friends Service Committee Board Statement on Human Rights “Quaker tradition provides good examples of profitable businesses conducted according to high levels of integrity even in the absence of laws requiring such social responsibility. Many business people already adhere to ethical business codes and believe that good labor practices, satisfied employees and sustainable production methods make for good business. To make the transition to a just global economy, we want to encourage all businesses to operate with rules that are both clear and ethical.” (American Friends Service Committee Board Statement on Human Rights)

http://files.www.iwj.org/resources/WFaithGSay2011.pdf