This Labor Day provides an important moment for people of faith to reflect on the purpose of our government and our economy. At Together Colorado, a statewide faith-driven organization, we believe that our faith traditions compel us to create a moral and communal economy. We believe that our economy exists to serve people which includes productive work, just wages and benefits and the right to join and form unions.
We are in a kairos moment in Colorado and our country, a time of crisis and time for decisive action in regard to how we live together with human dignity. As it is written in Deuteronomy 24:13, “You shall not abuse a needy and destitute laborer, whether a fellow countryman or a stranger.”
We are experiencing one of the largest expansions of income inequality in our country’s history where, for the vast majority of people, working no longer equals the ability to adequately take care of one’s family. In Colorado, we have a robust economy and yet, a growing body of the workforce cannot afford housing, medical expenses or care for their family after putting in an entire week of hard work. Our economy should reflect a different set of values.
Our moment for action this Labor Day lies in reflecting on the profound contributions the labor movement has played in creating a moral economy that serves the common good as well as the rich history that binds faith, labor and civil rights movements in speaking prophetically about how our economic life is bound together.
We can take action in the coming months by supporting workers at Kaiser who are on the verge of the largest healthcare strike in Colorado history and immigrant workers at DIA who are fighting for a union and stronger health and safety standards. We can come together in 2020 to support the right of state workers to collectively bargain and for Colorado to join other states in providing paid family leave for all employees to take care of an ailing parent or a newborn child.
Rev. Bonita Bock, Clergy Leader, Together Colorado