A Message for the 124th Labor Day
-Authentic Value and Dignity of Labor
On the occasion of the 124th Labor Day, the Most Rev. Matthias Ri Iong-hoon, President of the CBCK Committee for Justice & Peace, issued a message. In this message, he said, “We should pray that the authentic value and dignity of labor be more fruitful in our society, and make more efforts to make it realized.”
At the beginning of the message with the theme, “The just man has a care for the rights of the poor” (Prv 29,7), Bishop Ri expressed his condolences to the victims of the Ferry Sewol disaster. He also said, “As such a man-made disaster must not happen again, we have to join forces to restore the morality of our society and country.”
Bishop Ri mentioned that the level of employment stability in Korea ranked the lowest among the members of OECD. This resulted from the exorbitant number of non-regular workers and dispatched workers as well as those inappropriately laid off. He also pointed out that disregard for labor and laborers is the result of economic system emphasizing supply and demand as the only important factor, as well as the result of market triumphalism which is an excessive trust and dependence on the market.
Bishop Ri stressed, “Rights of laborers are superior to any other principles of economy or market. The government and political communities have to actively prepare a labor policy which will solve the problems of labor and put it into action, rather than leave them to the market.”
Bishop Ri also urged them to reflect on policies of neoliberalism that has been widely spreading out in our society. He asked the enterprises and management to respect laborers as their ‘creative partners’.