AMERICA/CHILE - The Bishop of Copiapo in the celebration of May 1, calls for "a decent wage and respect for the environment"

Thursday, 3 May 2012

Copiapo (Agenzia Fides) - During the celebration of Labor Day weekend, on May 1, the Bishop of Copiapo called for a revision of the minimum wages and a solution to the problems of the population of Freirina, about 500 km north of Santiago, in Chile. His Exc. Mgr. Gaspar Quintana, cmf, in his homily during the Mass celebrated on May 1 at the Cathedral of Copiapo, spoke about the serious situation that is occurring in the region of Atacama, which is part Freirina, as regards to the work in the mines, "the arrival of thousands of workers from other regions and countries, with non planned consequences, even raises questions on how to act ethically in our consciousness," said the Bishop, who continued: "Problems such as the breaking up of families, the cost of rental housing, health, the high price of public transport and many more emerge. "
According to the note sent to Fides from the Chilean Episcopal Conference, Mgr. Quintana has requested a review of the minimum wage, to be sure that all workers are able to have a worthy salary, allowing them to live with serenity. The Bishop also spoke of the plight of Freirina area, where there is no water, the air quality has been compromised and there is environmental problem: "What happens in Freirina, with the contamination of water and air on behalf of the company Agrosuper, cannot be said that it respects the lives of families. "Finally the Bishop of Copiapo also asked for respect for a free Sunday, so that families can have the opportunity to share a moment of rest and participate in the Eucharist on Sunday.
On May 1 Mass was presided by the Bishop and concelebrated by the person responsible for the Pastoral of Labour, Father Guido Castagna, and by the pastor of the Cathedral, Father Rodrigo Herrera. (CE) (Agenzia Fides 03/05/2012)