Work, the Pope receives the CGIL: “Make noise for those who have no voice”

For the first time in hearing the trade union of Corso d’Italia. Francesco’s appreciation for Landini: “Bravo that boy!”

The trade union is called to be the voice of those who have no voice. Make noise“. The Pope meets for the first time in audience the CGIL led by the secretary general. Bergoglio expressing his appreciation for Maurizio Landini, begins off the cuff: “Bravo, that boy!”. “In particular – exhorts Francis – I recommend that you pay attention to young people, who are often forced into precarious, inadequate and enslaving contracts. Thank you for every initiative that favors active labor policies and protects people’s dignity”.

The Pontiff’s attention also goes to the fact that “in these years of the pandemic, the number of those who resign from work has grown. Young and old are dissatisfied with their profession, with the atmosphere in the workplace, with the forms contracts, and prefer to resign. They look for other opportunities. This phenomenon does not mean disengagement, but the need to humanize work. Also in this case, the trade union can carry out prevention work, aiming at the quality of the work and accompanying people towards a relocation more suited to each one’s talent. Dear friends, I invite you to be “sentinels” of the world of work, generating alliances and not sterile oppositions. People thirst for peace, especially in this historical moment, and everyone’s contribution is fundamental. Educating for peace even in workplaces, often marked by conflicts, can become a sign of hope for everyone. Even for future generations.”

The Pope continues: “Thank you for what you do and will do for the poor, the immigrants, the frail and disabled, the unemployed. Don’t forget to take care of those who don’t join the union as well because he has lost faith; and to make room for youthful responsibility. I entrust you to the protection of Saint Joseph, who knew the beauty and the effort of doing his job well and the satisfaction of earning bread for his family”.

With the union led by Landini, Bergoglio shares common concerns. “There are still too many dead, mutilated and injured in the workplace! Every death at work is a defeat for the whole of society”, denounces the Pope. “More than counting them at the end of each year,” he says, “we should remember their names, because they are people and not numbers. Let’s not allow profit and the person to be put on the same level”!

The idolatry of money tends to trample everyone and everything and does not preserve the differences. It is a question of being trained to have the lives of employees at heart and of being educated to take safety regulations seriously: only a wise alliance – he warns – can prevent those “accidents” which are tragedies for families and communities”.

“A second concern – he observes – is exploitation of people, as if they were performance machines. There are forms of violence, such as illegal hiring and the slavery of laborers in agriculture or on construction sites and in other workplaces, the constraint to exhausting shifts, the underhanded game in contracts, contempt for motherhood, the conflict between work and family . How many contradictions and how many wars between the poor are consumed around work! In recent years, the so-called “poor workers” have increased: people who, despite having a job, are unable to support their families and give hope for the future”.

LANDINI – “It was important for us and a factor of great joy to see the red flags of the CGIL and those of many Catholic associations together on 5 November in Piazza San Giovanni in Rome. That beautiful day made evident thecommon commitment and the path we can take together, laity and Catholics, to change a society founded on competition, selfishness, exploitationthe many forms of solitude, to instead affirm the value of equality, gender difference, brotherhood and the recognition of diversity as the foundation of equality itself”, said CGIL leader Maurizio Landini during the course of the union’s first audience with the Pope. “As you said ‘today we need to build ourselves into an ‘we’ who lives in the common house’.

So Landini clarified, “we want to be a street union to affirm the rights of the person in the workplace and in the territory and above all we are driven by the common will to be Peace builders and put an end to a war, caused by the serious Russian invasion, of which the first victim is the Ukrainian people”, said CGIL leader Maurizio Landini during the union’s first audience with the Pope. The constant search for dialogue expressed several times by Pope Francis, together with the invitation to fraternity and to take care of others, adds Landini, “are the condition for realizing, here and now, that cultural revolution and that social transformation that we too feel the need to give our planet a future”. A “profound” change based on a “new humanism and not on the logic of the market and profit”, on overcoming the exploitation of man by man. “We are convinced – continues Landini – by the idea of ​​integral ecology which is a new economic, social and environmental vision which places the person at the center , his rights and the environment by rejecting the throwaway culture”.

And returning to the war, Landini also recalls those conflicts that have been going on for some time in Africa, the Middle East and Latin America, sharing Pope Francis’ reflection on a “third world war fought piecemeal”. And for this, he reiterates again, “we are against rearmament policies because it’s time to invest in peace, diplomacy and quality of life. It is time for everyone to work to silence the guns, for a ceasefire at least during the Catholic and Orthodox Christmas periods aimed at winning a negotiation”.

This is therefore the moment for the CGIL to relaunch the appeal promoted in 1955 by Einstein and Russell, which asked all the governments of the world “to renounce war and ‘find peaceful means for the solution of all controversies ‘”. But not only pacifism but also acceptance and solidarity because “wars, environmental crises, famines, social injustices primarily affect the poorest countries, forcing many people to leave their lands and flee, hoping for a better future”.

And addressing migrants whose issue continues to inflame the political debate, he adds: “In a country like Italy where births are declining and the elderly are increasing, where every year more young Italians are forced to go abroad to work that migrants who stop in our country, it is not true that foreigners steal our jobs Solidarity and acceptance are all the more necessary today, when inequalities based, of course, on income and quantity of wealth, but also on quality are growing of life, on accessibility to natural resources, land, food, water, on the possibility of defending oneself from environmental disasters”.