This weekend hundreds of faith communities and congregations will support Labor Day Weekend for Worker Justice through IWJ’s Labor in the Pulpits program.
And in a special way, we honor the dignity of work and highlight the important struggles in which people of faith and worker advocates are engaged.
Income inequality is an injustice plaguing our economy and communities. Every day, we hear stories of workers earning too little to get by. These are challenging stories to hear when we compare the struggles of everyday workers to the massive profit margins of the corporations for which they work.
Workers are angry and upset because although productivity has skyrocketed since the 1970s (we are working more, making more goods) workers aren’t seeing their hard work compensated fairly.
In Exodus, Moses and the Israelites protested against Pharaoh when he expected them to be more productive and collect their own straw for making bricks.
“You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don’t reduce the quota. —Exodus 5:7-8
The Economic Policy Institute released an income inequality calculator Friday, based on their inequality.is project. The calculator is a shocking tool that shows us how much we would be making if wages had kept pace with productivity. Check it out for yourself here.
What’s more unsettling is that CEOs and executives (the top one percent) now take home 20 percent of the nation’s income.
Over Labor Day weekend, it’s a good time to honor Moses, history’s first recorded labor organizer, and all workers engaged in the struggle for fair working conditions and compensation that is in line with productivity.