Page 1, 25th October 1957

25th October 1957
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Page 1, 25th October 1957 — Mgr. GODFREY'S

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Organisations: Committees
People: Godfrey


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Road to truth THREE `Ws' CATHOLIC social principle and much down-toearth Christian practice were given by Mgr. Godfrey, Archbishop of Westminster, to Catholic Trade Unionists in his sermon at the Cathedral for Industrial Sunday.

" Work and wages arc always topics of the day ", said the Archbishop. " I would add another word. will '. Work, wages, will. We should hear more about will. good will. For there can be no peace without good will. That means that neither employers nor employed should live in the past and that the old rancours and difficulties should be set aside.

One of the practices condemned by the Archbishop was .' irresponsible absenteeism." "Too often irresponsible people can absent themselves from work safe in the knowledge that the loss of a day's pay will he made up by the reduction of Income Tax. Such a practice can only he described as dishonest, and working against the whole idea of harmonious industrial relations . .."

Mgr. Godfrey listed four points for special emphasis- "FIRSTLY, the Church proclainis that there must be equitable distribution of wealth and is at pains to denounce any social system in which a small group of privileged people would live side by side with a very large and impoverished population.

" Generally speaking it can he said that in this country extreme poverty has been eradicated. Still., we are members of the human family. a world community. and must look beyond our shores. recognise the legitimate natural aspirations of those who are not as privileged as ourselves and rememher

the undoubted needs of underdevelopd nations.

" SECONDLY, we declare that th,a,• must he a just wage for all


Godfrey's Three 'Ws'

those engaged in human labour. Such a wage should reflect the value of the work done, that is, the value and usefulness of the object produced in terms of money, and also what the worker needs to support himself in a becoming manruls

" We remember also that, as the employer must pay a wage measured by the skill of the person employed and by the amount of work done and his responsibilities and needs, so too the person employed must make his labour match the wage.

It is occasionally alleged that a basic wage is fixed having in mind the opportunity of the person employed to supplement his needs by working overtime. It would seem that such a system of payment is unfair when one realises that some, either for reasons of health or because of family commitments, cannot work overtime.

" Hence it would not he right to reject out of hand the suggestion that it would be more equitable to raise the basic wage and reduce the scale of payment for overtime work. This is surely a point for most careful consideration, "THIRDLY, there can he no solution to the social problem un Continued from page 1 less the dignity of human labour be recognised.

" It must he accepted that for higher grades of workmanship there is to he higher pay. Nevertheless man has an inborn right to improve his position in society and this means that all should have the opportunity to develop their capacity for greater responsibility and higher grades of workmanship.

"FOURTHLY, in her anxiety to promote industrial harmony, the Church undoubtedly blesses those systems which seek to promote a sense of partnership in industry between employer and employed. Passage after passage could he quoted in this sense from the Papal directives.

" Much of present day industrial unrest is due to a certain basic mistrust between employers and those employed. How does this mistrust arise ? There are many causes, hut all too often it arises from a sense of grievance and resentment inherited from other days which begets a lack of frankness and confidence.

" We welcome the attempts that have been made to establish factory committees in which are represented both employers and those in their employ. If these are to succeed it is essential that the members of the Committees be genuinely representative of both sides so that there will be complete confidence all round. Only then will frank discussions of all problems be possible and help on the speedy settlement of disputes."

The Archhishrm then gave a word of advice. " In the present state of tension among nations, we are faced with an open threat against the sacred freedom and dignity of the individual. So precious are these values that everyone should feel it his bounden duty to resist with all his might the manoeuvres of those who would win men away from loyalty to God and their own nation.

" It follows that you should all be true members of your Unions and not fail to he present at your meetings. You should be determined to use your vote as your conscience tells you so that wickedness may not have its way and that principles of justice may prevail. One might almost say that a Union member who is negligent about his attendance at his meetings, particularly when great issues are at stake. is, by his apathy or his sloth. failing to keep an appointment with his Maker.

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