Letter of celebration from Bishop Ann Svennungsen to CTUL

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Minneapolis Area Synod

Evangelical Lutheran Church of America 

October 12, 2016

Congratulations to the workers and leaders of Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha (CTUL) for faithfully working with and on behalf of retail janitorial workers in the Twin Cities as they seek fairness and safety. After six years of determined work, this union vote and the pending contract negotiations mean a new day for retail cleaning workers. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in a social statement titled Sufficient, Sustainable Livelihood for All affirms the dignity of work and the responsibility of employers to treat workers with dignity and resect. It also affirms the critical role of organizing in the quest for human dignity and justice. 

The work you do is consistent with the commitment of the ELCA to justice in the workplace. Many of the pastors, deacons, and lay leaders of this church have stood with you in you in work stoppages, a hunger strike, marches, and demonstrations. You have inspired us to become more engaged in our neighborhoods and with our neighbors. Your victory is a victory not only of CTUL and retail janitorial work; it is also a victory of all our communities. 

You have set a benchmark of community expectation for the Twin Cities, as well as for local Worker Centers and labor organizations nationally. Thank you for leading with such passion, grace, and strength. 

In the spirit of justice,

Rev. Ann Svennungsen, Bishop