OCEANIA/AUSTRALIA - “The voice of vulnerable workers in the changing world of work”: Australian Catholic Social Justice Council pastoral letter signed by Bishop Christopher Saunders

Tuesday, 2 May 2006

Canberra (Fides Service) - “The voice of vulnerable workers in the changing world of work” is the title of a pastoral letter issued to mark the feast of St Joseph the Worker May 1 by the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council ACSJC, the message is signed by ACSJC chairman Bishop Christopher Saunders of Broome.
With regard to the changing world of work the Letter says that in Australia in 1988, “74 per cent of all employees were permanent full-time workers. This category now describes only 60 per cent of all employees.[1] The trend is particularly concerning because it has been accompanied by increased casualisation, a general reduction in job security, persistent underemployment and a pattern of low-paid jobs replacing higher-paid jobs”.
The Letter recalls the Church’s responsibility to offer guidelines for social policies as well as concrete assistance to most vulnerable groups to prevent social exclusion and poverty.
The Letter speaks of young people and their insertion in the world of work which should be marked by hope, equal opportunities, fair conditions, adequate pay.
Another reflection is dedicated to families affected by an ever more closed and unstable labour market and growing poverty and impossibility to educate children .
In this field the text concludes, the Church must continue to raise her voice, express her concerns, fight for the rights and better living conditions of the vulnerable and the poor. (PA) (Agenzia Fides 2/5/2006 righe 26 parole 269)