Ways of hope for decent work
In a new society
An International Movement of Christian Workers
The speed and consequences of an increasingly globalised economy affects the body of workers worldwide. The growing mobility of capital and of companies relocating from country to country, from continent to continent, reducing labour costs and maximising profits leads to the radical restructuring of labour, all too often to unemployment, and even to the elimination of worker’s rights.
The WMCW, as an international organisation of solidarity, which is more than ever necessary to promote exchange and the dissemination of accurate information among, working people to help them understand the new workings of the economy and of society. This is necessary if working men and women are to remain able to be a force for change and advancement for other workers whether in paid work or not, in the formal or informal sector, and regardless of whether they are members of trades unions or not.
The vision of the WMCW is for a new society based on:
Decent Work for All
Decent Work is about Full Employment, it’s about Respect for Workers Rights, it’s about Social Protection including decent pensions for old age, and it’s about Equality between women and men, and it is about access to good quality public services.
So when the World Movement of Christian Workers calls for ‘Decent Work in a New Society’ it is calling for Decent Work to be at the Heart of social and economic policy so that it may become the cornerstone for a just, democratic and participatory society. It’s about Social Justice.
A new society in the making
In this context, solidarity among and between workers in the north and south is indispensable for the creation and the promotion of decent work so that all workers and their families may have access to a decent and dignified life.
Members and activists of WMCW movements are committed to the improvement of society.
Based on their faith in Jesus Christ, they want to contribute to the establishment of a new society where people of the south and north will work together in overcoming the huge challenges of our time.
Creating an alternative to economic competition by practicing solidarity at all levels whatever their social class is to build peace and respect of all. Solidarity should become a fundamental principle for our new society as well as justice and respect for human dignity and all human rights as mentioned in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
Dignity of Workers
The majority of the movements affiliated to the WMCW consider themselves to be movements of and for workers whether in or out of work or even excluded.
The WMCW and its movements are not representatives of workers in the same sense as a trades union, even though we may be as equally concerned with the same issues of justice for workers.
The actions of the WMCW and its member movements cover everything that concerns the human and spiritual needs of workers and their families. This includes the whole social and human environment.
The central focus is always the essential dignity of working men and women. This focus reflects the vision of the book of Genesis in the Hebrew Scriptures, where God is imaged as creating Men and Women as the very image of God. It is with this vision in mind that the WMCW wishes to give priority to all the excluded, whose dignity is most endangered, the unemployed, child workers, women, those in the informal sector, in other words the most vulnerable so that their voices may be heard.
Signs of hope
In all of the countries where the WMCW's movements are active, working men and women are coming together to tackle unemployment, organise workers of the informal economy and form groups in other sectors of the working community. Within their groups, they organise training; which can lead to professional qualifications, as well as engagement in actions to improve and change the world for the better.
Through their lives and their witness they endeavour to infuse the light of the Gospel throughout the realities of social, economic and political life.
As members of such movements we make a choice, as did Jesus, to give priority to the poor, and to all those on the margins of society. (LK 4/18-19) Today this is often referred to as a preferential option for the poor.
This preferential option for the poor strikes us as even more urgent today since the global decision makers push an ever-greater number of people aside in their search for greater profits, and many traditional social organisations no longer have solutions to such changed circumstances or even end up ignoring the needs of those on the margins.
The WMCW promotes sharing and solidarity among workers: sharing of experiences, sharing of faith, and sharing of meaning. This sharing keeps them alive, sustains them, and brings them together in struggle for justice.