Dear Sister and Brother Supporters of Workplace Justice through the Labor Guild,
I hope that our various public health disciplines are keeping all Guilders safe during this winter when we so yearn to gather in community once again.
We remember the courage and commitment of our predecessors who made many sacrifices to gain the workplace labor rights that we know today as Guild members. In fact, this year we come upon the 110th Anniversary of the Bread and Roses Organizing conducted by risk-taking textile workers in Lawrence. Our ancestors lived in their solidarity the values of Catholic Social Teaching: living wages, the eight-hour workday, the weekend, safer and more humane working conditions, and the “roses” component of the dignity of the human person, in this case mainly women immigrants working in industrial revolution factories while raising their families. They left the comfort zone of their personal lives to commit one to another for justice in their community.
While a VA Chaplain in Brockton and West Roxbury, I would so appreciate the Haitian, Cape Verdean, and Latino-a workers who kept both busy facilities open during the Covid pandemic. These committed staff members living in New England triple-deckers while attending to the well-being of Veterans helped me realize the sacrifices of Merrimack Valley textile workers of 1912 who organized for justice and a better society. The past is our prologue, and the struggle for workplace dignity and self-respect continues!
To observe this Valentine’s Day during uncertain times, please join together with other Guilders for a donation to the Labor Guild’s work of social justice education for the workplace and society. The sacrifices of Merrimack Valley textile workers of the past century may be seen in the contributions of our health-care and service-industry colleagues who have sustained our local economy and society during the pandemic, even as the close quarters of triple-decker living placed them at risk. We recognize the compassionate hearts of all workers, past and present!
Thank you for considering this appeal. Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. Marc Fallon, C.S.C.
The Labor Guild
Archdiocese of Boston
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