Frances O’Grady will call on the Catholic Church and trade unions to build 'a popular alliance for economic justice'
Inequality and the “new global titans of
technology” are depriving working people of dignity, Britain’s trade
union chief will tell Catholic and labour movement leaders at the
Frances O’Grady, the TUC general secretary, will call on
the Catholic Church and trade unions to build “a popular alliance for
economic justice”, in her speech this afternoon given at a meeting of international trade unionists and Catholic leaders in Rome.
Cardinal Peter Turkson will lead the two-day meeting which
will hear testimony of injustices suffered by working people and
consider how trade unions and the church can work together to achieve
greater social justice.
O’Grady will warn of the harm done to UK workers by
inequality and corporate power, including the “new global titans of
technology” who she will describe as having “wealth and power beyond our
“Technological change is concentrating
wealth at the expense of working people,” she will say, and will refer
to tax avoidance by global digital giants and to contemporary forms of
worker exploitation. She will call on listeners to “challenge the very
values on which our economies run.”
“The market should be our servant, not
our master. Value cannot be measured in monetary terms alone. And
individual greed must not triumph over the common good,” she will add.
O’Grady will encourage Catholic leaders
to continue their history of supporting workers who take action to
uphold their rights, using the example of Cardinal Manning who supported
striking dockers in the 19th century. He described the refusal of
employers to negotiate with their workers as a ‘public evil’.
She will call on Catholic leaders to work
with trade unions, saying that together they can improve working lives
and “put dignity for working people ahead of market forces and freedom
of capital”. With shared values of community, dignity and social
solidarity, the Catholic church and trade unions can together “build a
popular alliance for economic justice, in Britain and around the world,”
she will conclude.
Addressing Italian trade unions in June,
Pope Francis said society did not understand the value of trade unions,
because it has “forgotten” the social nature of economy and business.
“This is one of the greatest errors”, he said.
Source : http://www.thetablet.co.uk