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Labor Day 2006: recent stories of NCC support of labor movement

New York, August 31, 2006 Labor Day was first celebrated in the United States on September 5, 1882 and continues to be observed on the first Monday of September.

Since its inception, the labor movement has been endorsed by religious leaders around the world, in part because Jesus himself a laborer advocated a just society in which people were expected to treat one another with fairness ("Do to others as you would have them do to you," NRSV, Matthew 7:12). Jesus also modeled a lifestyle in which heavy labors were balanced with periods of rest and recreation.

The late Pope John Paul II said, "In order to achieve social justice. . . there is a need for ever new movements of solidarity of the workers and with the workers." And throughout its existence, the National Council of Churches and its member communions have worked to support working people through participation in product boycotts to encourage corporations to compensate and treat their workers fairly, campaigns to raise the minimum wage in states and at the federal level, and many other activities.

Links to a partial list of recent NCC actions are here.

November 6, 2003: NCC endorses the Immokalee Workers' boycott of Taco Bell
March 15, 2004: NCC President Hoyt addresses Immokalee workers
July 2004: President Hoyt promotes 'Let Justice Roll' with congressional Black Caucus
September 16, 2004: Mt. Olive Pickle boycott ends successfully
June 1, 2005: NCC calls on other corporations to act like Taco Bell
December 1, 2005: NCC calls on McDonald's to treat its workers justly
April 6, 2006: CBS' 'A Fair Harvest' explores church support of immigrants, farm laborers
April 7, 2006: NCC report says higher minimum wage is good for workers and employers
April 10, 2006: Arkansas working families get long over-due raise
June 22, 2006: 'Let Justice Roll' calls on House to support working people
July 13, 2006: 'Let Justice Roll' raising state minimum wages, pushing federal hike


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