So-called “Right to Work/Freedom to Work” laws proposed under the guise of freedom to the individual worker actually weaken their ability to equally bargain for fair compensation in the workplace, and are obviously and admittedly anti-union in their intent and render impossible or at least weaken the process of collective bargaining between management and labor.

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson,

Archdiocese of St. Louis

CSWJ Foundational Statements

With Justice for All

NLRB Rules for Seattle University Adjuncts
The Regional Director of the NLRB ruled in favor of the adjunct professors at Seattle U. He stated that they were subject neither to Catholic Bishop nor Yeshiva and thus ordered an election. The Trustees are expected to appeal to the NLRB in DC.
See the Decision and Order »

CSWJ Issues NLRB Amicus Brief
Read our amicus curiae brief that discusses the Supreme Court Catholic Bishop ruling.
see brief »

CSWJ supports Fast Food Workers!
See our statement on behalf of fast food workers as we approach Thanksgiving...
Read the press release »
Read the statement »

In a remarkable address to newly installed Ambassadors to the Holy See, Pope Francis has issued an exceptionally strong and pointed critique of global capitalism. Try this: "The worship of the golden calf of old (cf. Ex 32:15-34) has found a new and heartless image in the cult of money and the dictatorship of an economy which is faceless and lacking any truly humane goal." This is just great!
Read the full statement »

A CSWJ Statement on Justice for Miners and their Families
Glenmary Father John S. Rausch, Director of the Catholic Committee of Appalachia, has asked CSWJ to issue an emergency statement in support of miners and their families who may lose their health benefits from their former employers, Peabody Energy, Patriot Coal, Arch Coal, or Magnum Coal. Mine workers are threatened with losing their health care benefits because of the practice of "spinning off" subsidiaries that have contracts signed with the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) who then declare bankruptcy resulting in workers losing their health benefits. We believe this violates the Catholic teaching that capital is always subordinate to labor.
Read the Statement »

32 CSWJ Members sign "On All of Our Shoulders: A Catholic Call to Protect the Endangered Common Good"
That's right! Of the 150 or so distinguished signers of the statement, CSWJ was well represented.
Read the Statement »

USCCB 2012 Labor Day Statement: "Placing Work and Workers at the Center of Economic Life"
In a powerful Labor Day statement the nation's Catholic Bishops through Bishop Stephen E. Blaire have called upon the nations leaders to focus on the poorest among us and have renewed their strong support for labor unions. They chide our political leaders for their focus on "deficits and debt" but note that the public hears "almost nothing about the moral imperative to overcome pervasive poverty in a nation still blessed with substantial economic resources and power." Read the Statement »

CWSJ issues Statement of Support for Adjunct Professors at Duquesne University
We have been working with the adjuncts at Duquesne for the past six months both encouraging them to form a union and providing the theological and magisterial foundation for their union effort. See our Statement of Support ».

Although the Trustees at Duquesne originally stipulated to an NLRB sponsored election, they have quite recently decided to oppose the election based on the Catholic Bishop position that unions violate the Catholic nature of Duquesne. YES, you read that right: the Trustees are invoking the university's Catholic identity to deny a key teaching of Catholic Social Doctrine: that workers should be encouraged to form a union.

See The New York Times article (6/23/12) on the Duquesne situation

SOS for Lay Faculty Association, Archdiocese of New York
Read the SOS ».

CSWJ issues Georgetown Statement. On June 1, 2011 Catholic Scholars met at Georgetown and issued "The Core of Roman Catholic Teaching on Workers' Rights."
Read on ».

Program for MEETING AT GEORGETOWN, May 31 and June 1
View the program ».


CSWJ issues Statement of Support for Labor Unions.
Catholic Scholars is deeply alarmed at the attacks on unions and the right to collective bargaining in Wisconsin and in all too many places around the country. Help support workers and unions by distributing our statement far and wide.
Read the SOS ».

Manhattan College Adjunct Professors Organize--win NLRB Decision.
Adjuncts at Manhattan College, Bronx, N.Y. filed cards in 2010 to the NLRB to petition an election to choose whether New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) will represent them for collective bargaining purposes. On January 20, 2011 Region 2 of the NLRB decided in the adjuncts favor. Continued »

You are invited to sign CSWJ's Statement of Support for Service Workers at Catholic Colleges and Universities.
View Sign-on Statement »

CSWJ issues Statement of Support for Adjunct Professors at Manhattan College. The adjuncts have selected New York State United Teachers (NYSUT) as their bargaining agent and recently filed cards with the NLRB to request a secret ballot election.
Read the SOS »

US Bishops Issue 2010 Labor Day Statement
Read On »

CSWJ Symposium at Harvard Law School : Final Program
Read On »

SIGN-ON to "Union Busting is a Mortal Sin."
Read On »

Join CSWJ in NYC at 5 p.m. on March 25!
Read On »

JOIN US! Registration information for the March 22-23, 2010 Conference.
Read On »

Breaking News: Election for union at SRMH
Read On »

CSWJ and Villanova Call for Papers and Reports
Read On »

Letter from Professor Holland about union 'bosses.'
Read On »

Read On »

Breaking News: CSWJ Ad Supporting EFCA in NCR and America
Read On »

Steering Committee Member Appointed to Historic Post
Read On »



Pope Francis:

"Not paying a just wage, not providing work, focusing exclusively on the balance books, on financial statements, only looking at making profit. That goes against God!"

The Common Good

Over 150 Scholars Support Adjunct Union Rights

Eight past presidents of the Catholic Theological Society of America and over 150 of the leading theologians and scholars call upon Catholic universities to remove all legal obstacles to their adjuncts who wish to form unions. Read the statement »

CSWJ Members Question $1 million Koch grant to Catholic University

The Koch brothers donation to CUA' School of Business and Economics begs the question of what they expect for it. The new Dean of the school has made several statements question the Church's support for public sector labor unions and alleges the Church has not addressed global warming. See our response »

Read Joe Holland's Paper on the Challenge that Global Capitalism poses for Church and Labor

CSWJ Vice-Chair Joe Holland has written a provocative paper on "LOCAL-GLOBAL & ECO-SOCIAL COMMUNITY UNIONS: Challenge For Church & Labor in the New Stage of Global Capitalism." Enter into the discussion of how the Catholic community must respond creatively to the global assault on workers' rights with community organzing and other exciting ideas. We will discuss this paper at our meeting at the Jesuit School of Theology Berkeley (CA), 28-30. We welcome your thoughts at: Read the paper »

CSWJ Issues "Statement of Support for the Right to form Labor Unions to be included in the Civil Right Act"

Catholic Social Teaching holds that the right to join or form labor unions is based on the right of free association that is rooted in the natural law that flows from the divine law. In CST it is the task of public authorities to enshrine this right in "juridical systems." Hence civil law should enhance and protect the right to form unions. This right is already a matter of law through the National Labor Relations Act (1935) but enforcement procedures are often so weak or misused that employers routinely violate workers' rights. Richard D. Kahlenberg and Moshe Z. Marvit make a compelling case that the Civil Rights Act (1935) should be amended to include labor organizing as a civil right in order to strengthen and enhance the natural right to organize through greater enforcement regulations. (See their book, Why Labor Organizing Should be a Civil Right (2012) The Century Foundation)

See the Statement of Support »

CSWJ Member Donald C. Carroll Writes Challenging Article on "At-Will Employment"

by Donald C. Carroll

full commentary »

"Is There a Future for Catholic School Unions in the United States?"

by Bob Baker

full commentary »

CSWJ Letter to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on USCCB Labor Day Message and the adjunct union drive at Duquesne University

full commentary »

Fr. Pat Sullivan's inspiring homily (3.19.2011) at St. John's Conference on the "The Theology of Work Dignity of Labor"

by Fr. Patrick Sullivan, CSC

full commentary »

Poland in 1980 and Wisconsin in 2011: History Rhymes

by Gerald J. Beyer

This article appeared on on February 24, 2011

full commentary »

Labor Unions and the Church

by Joseph J. Fahey

This article appeared in The Catholic Worker, May, 2010 pages 1, 7

full commentary »

Fr. Ray Decker Reflects on the Santa Rosa Hospital Campaign

by Fr. Ray Decker

The Experiences Of Raymond Decker With The Labor Union Organizing Efforst at Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, Santa Rosa, California – 2004-2010

full commentary »


Common Good commentary archives »


CSWJ Call to Action!

See Our Exciting Program for our Boston Area Meeting June 3-5, 2014
Please join us for all or any part of our program. Register below.
See program »

Join Us! CSWJ Meeting in Boston June 3-5
Click here to register »

Read Joe Fahey's background paper on organizing at Catholic affiliated colleges and universities. Read the good news and the bad news!
CSWJ will shortly issue a sign-on statement that will invite you to support the adjuncts in their quest for justice.
See the paper ».

REGISTER for the 28-30 Berkeley Meeting!
Please send us your registration form.
Click Here ».

Join CSWJ in Berkeley, CA, 28-30 May!
CSWJ will meet at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University at the school in Berkeley, CA, May 28-30, 2013. Our program is directed primarily to charting a Catholic response to the Local-Global attacks on workers' rights that threaten to undo all the good work accomplished by the 20th century labor struggles. We will especially focus on the concept of "community unions" as a positive response to the present crisis. We need you to help us chart the course ahead!
See the program ».

JOIN us in Berkeley May, 2013
CSWJ Steering Committee member (and new Dean) Fr. Tom Massaro, SJ has cordially invited us to meet at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University, May 28-30, 2013. The meeting will take place in Berkeley and, since space is limited, we urge you to send us an email indicating your interest right away.
( West Coast members are especially invited but all are certainly most welcome. Scholars interested in presenting papers or presentations (on any subject relevant to CSWJ) are urged to send us a title and short synopsis. We will make every effort to include everyone! A complete program will follow in a couple of months.
Since our funds are quite limited, please make every effort to seek institutional funding and host a bake sale as well (or a bike ride?). If you can help to finance others, especially workers, please press the "Donate" button to the left (what else?). We pray together, think together, and act together at these meetings. And don't miss our "Gaudeamus" where all are invited to sing, or dance, or tell a joke! As Emma Goldman said, "If you can't dance, I won't join the revolution." On to Berkeley!

Hear Fr. Clete Kiley's Stirring Invocation in Defense of Workers' Rights and Labor Unions !!!

CSWJ is co-sponsor of an exciting conference on "The Theology of Work and the Dignity of Workers" to be held March 18 and 19 at St. John's University School of Law (Queens, NY) March 18 and 19, 2011. Please join us and the most distinguished list of speakers and panelists! Registration fee is waived for CSWJ members!
Here's the program ».


Statements of Support

     Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice
     Phone: 781.340.7887
     Fax: 781.340.5885