Clergy Asked to Help Unions

July 22, 2000

Source: Los Angeles Times

On July 22, 2000, the Los Angeles Times published the article, "Exploring Issues, Answers and Beliefs; A Union of Faith and Labor; As a Booming Economy Leaves Some of its Workers Far Behind, An Interfaith Convocation Reminds Members of the Clergy about Scriptural Commands to Help the Needy." It reports that "In the underbelly of Southern California's booming economy, countless workers, largely anonymous and voiceless, struggle daily with long hours, low pay and dismal working conditions as they wash dishes, prepare food, clean rooms and fill other essential service jobs." A recent interfaith convocation in Southern California focused on one of the region's largest industries, tourism. With union members expanding their organizing efforts in the industry, they and their clerical compatriots gathered to encourage people of faith to embrace justice for workers as a religious mandate. "Moses, the prophets and Jesus all insist that we must take responsibility for the poor, the marginalized, the hungry," said the Rev. James Lawson of Holman United Methodist Church, president of the 250-member Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice, which sponsored the convocation. "That theme runs from the beginning to the end of the Bible.""Lawson said that more priests, ministers and rabbis seem to be taking up the cause. As reports persist of large numbers of working poor amid unprecedented economic prosperity, clerical groups have been formed in 40 cities across the nation to work on the issue."

See also: Interfaith, Civic