Stop Throwing Away Low-Wage Workers

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Many advocates for economic justice were struck by Pope Francis’ candid remarks last month about our global economic system and the “idol” of money.

The pope’s impromptu comments came after a meeting with unemployed workers in Cagliari, Sardinia (an island off the coast of Italy), who shared their stories of struggle. Francis discarded his prepared speech and let the Spirit lead his remarks for nearly 20 minutes.... Just as Pope Francis listened to the stories of unemployed workers in Cagliari living under the shadow of the great wealth of a few, Catholics and people of faith have the opportunity to follow his lead and listen to those living in poverty in our own communities.

Right here in the United States, Wal-Mart workers are preparing for a big day of action November 29, Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving). Wal-Mart workers in our communities face some of the same daily concerns the Sardinians highlighted for Pope Francis. They are often forced to choose between paying rent and eating dinner. They are paid poverty wages and work unpredictable schedules, impeding their ability to pick up a second job for supplemental income. When they speak up, management responds with retaliation and intimidation.

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