​​​​Definition of the Theme

All people must work to be able to support their family or to support themselves. Working is a common activity in our daily life but sometimes, people do not get what they deserve. This means they might not get safe working conditions, egual pay, or even the right amont of money for the work they put into a company. God wants every person on earth to be safe and have equal rights. One of the seven Catholic Social Teaching is the Dignity of work and the rights of workers, which is made to make sure the work place is safe, equal and a beneficial environment.

Child Labor

Child labor is a job that is harmful to a child's physical or mental development. One out of seven children are forced into child labor each year and 22,000 children die from accidents that take place at the factories.

Some reasons why children are put into labor are:

-They are sold to a factory or mine by parents who cannot support them.

-Some children sell things in the street to bring home money to an unemployed parent.

-A sick parent could send their child to work to earn money for the family.

-An orphan could go to work to earn money to support their siblings.

Now, there is a global campaign to end child labor everywhere in the entire world. Children are speaking out for other children's rights so they will be protected in the future. What can you do to help?

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Children of the Future


Women Labor Unequal Pay

Although women's rights have improved greatly, there is still discrimination in the work force, especially in that of a woman's salary. It has been proven that a women who works full time all year round and retires at the age of 65, will have earned 523,000 less than a man did. Equal pay will not be granted until after the year of 2050 which is almost 100 years after President Kennedy signed the Equal Pay Act. A study has shown that women earn 78 percent of a man's salery. This is against the Catholic Social Teaching because everyone should be treated fairly.
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This is how our world SHOULD be.


Discrimination

Discrimination is one practice that some still do believe. This goes against the theme of Dignity of Work and Rights of Workers because it is the disrespect of others. Some discriminate against race, religion, pregnancy, disability, and age.
Discrimination against race is not encouraged. In fact, it is often illegal. Wars have been fought and many have died for equal rights in race. As for religion, we, as Americans, should know that America was meant as a place that is free of religious persecution. We should remind ourselves that we should respect the freedom we are granted in America and to respect others also. In many cases, women are discriminated against in the workplace when they are pregnant. People do this because hey think that they will slack or use the burden of pregnancy as an excuse. Others won't hire pregnant women for they see that they're loyalty will waver more towards their baby then work. This is against the Catholic teaching since we are all equal. If a woman is pregnant in the workplace, people should treat her normally, but make sure to have accommodations for her as you would do for a disabled person. Disabled persons should be allowed jobs that they are able to operate just as freely as a normal person would. Although mental diseases may be a harder challenge, disabled people can preform certain jobs just as well, or better than non-disabled people. Lastly, age discrimination is very common as well. This happens for interviewees 40 years old and up. Many employers find that older workers' commitments to the company may be faulty as they won't be able to stay for long. Others see it as they don't want to employ them since their pay is too high because of their experience. Regardless of their excuse, employers should not discriminate against older people since they are just as valuable as they are.
Employers should respect the diversity of workers instead of finding faults with them and discriminating. This goes against all Catholic teachings since we are all created equal. People should realize their rights and need to see the importance of being treated fairly by others.


Rights of Workers

http://www.osha.gov/as/opa/worker/rights.html
OSHA is a group established by Congress
that protects workers and makes sure that they
have the rights that they need. After reading the following document, what rights should they include/take away? Why do you think some companies are not honoring these rights?

Bad Working Conditions

Many workers around the world are deprived of basic rights such as going to tha bathroom. many companies only allow their workers to use it once a day. They are hurt by the harsh treatment and the use of dangerous equipment. Other factories force them to work faster than they should. This means a decrease in accuracy in what they are making, and potentially making other people sick if they are preparing food. If machines are being produced, they may not function correctly and therefore harm someone. Child labor is a type of a bad working condition. Many children are forced to work at extremely young ages to support their families.

In factories in Mexico, if workers do not finish as much work as they were expected to accomplish in a workday, they might have to stay overtime to finish with no pay at all. In poorer countries, workers are searched for stolen items every time they leave the factory. Many times, if women are pregnant, they will be fired. Other times, if they arrive late at work, even if only 10 minutes, they would be forced to work for days without pay. If the employers are cheap, they might not provide protective equipment such as safety googles.

Nike

Many of Nike’s factories are in third world countries, such as Indonesia.

These workers are not given the working conditions or rights that they deserve.
Most of these third world workers are paid only 1. 25 for 15 hours of working a day.
Some Nike workers have to work day after day for excessive hours with no breaks.
It’s workers are exposed to dangerous chemicals with no safety gear to protect them.
The workers can not live off this amount of money they are given, and many go hungry.



Walmart


Walmart also does not pay it’s employees enough. They also pay men more than women.
Also, their “always low prices” slogan causes many mom and pop shops to go out of business since they can not compete with their low prices.
Many Walmarts workers are either not eligible or cannot afford health care.


Sources

Butler, Simon. Nike’s Cover up Campaign. Green Left Online. 2000. Web. 26 March 2010.
Child Labour. Free the Children. 2010. Web. 26 March 2010.
Dignity of Work and the Rights of Workers. Catholic Charities Central Texas. 2002. Web. 26 March 2010.
Global Electronics Industry: The ‘New Nike’. Human Rights for Workers. 2009. Web. 26 March 2010.
How to File a Complaint with OSHA. United States Department of Labor. Web. March 26 2010.
Lorenz, Kate. Equal Pay for Women? Not till 2050. CNN. 2004. Web. 26 March 2010.
Vives, Olga. Walmart: Always Low Prices or Always Discriminates. National Organization for Women. 2004. Web. 25 March 2010.
Walmart. Interfaith Worker Justice. Web. 24 March 2010.
Osborn, Mark. Nike: Leading the Race to the Bottom. 2007. Web. March 24 2010.


More Information

For more information on dignity of work and the rights of workers, read/watch this articles and videos:

Articles:

http://www.osha.gov/as/opa/worker/rights.html

http://www.wakeupwalmart.com/facts/

http://www.stopchildlabor.org/USchildlabor/fact1.htm http://online.logcabin.org/issues/workplace.html http://filipspagnoli.wordpress.com/stats-on-human-rights/statistics-on-labor-conditions/statistics-on-child-labor/ http://www.freethechildren.com/getinvolved/geteducated/childlabour.htm http://www.cnn.com/2004/US/Careers/10/22/equal.pay/index.html http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13PT_HW4wdk&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG70i91akLI&feature=related

Videos:

htmlhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=13PT_HW4wdk&feature=related http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZG70i91akLI&feature=related

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e9ZktmrGGMU


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Here is our wordle on Dignity of Work and the Rights of workers. What words stick out to you? Why?