Bishop Christopher Saunders, Chairman of the Australian Catholic Social Justice Council (ACSJC), today issued a Pastoral Letter for the Feast of St Joseph the Worker.  

Reiterating concerns already raised by the Catholic Bishops regarding workplace relations changes, Bishop Saunders said, “one wonders how those workers with fewer skills, little bargaining power and no representation will cope in the cut and thrust of workplace negotiations.

“We should ensure the voice of those who have already endured some of the negative consequences of labour market deregulation is heard in the midst of the changing world of work.

“There are workers in casual or precarious jobs who have not benefited from changes in industrial relations over the past two decades. Their experiences of poor wages and conditions, unreasonable hours, little training, poor bargaining power and the risk of unemployment stand as a challenge to the promised benefits of greater choice and flexibility in the workplace.

“The Church holds that the person is the measure of the dignity of work. Adequate pay, fair conditions, the representation of industrially weak workers and the availability of work are the grounds on which the fairness of industrial relations is and will continue to be tested”, Bishop Saunders concluded.