Dear Sisters and Brothers committed to Workplace Justice through the Labor Guild,
Let us all remember the courage and commitment of our predecessors who made many sacrifices to gain the workplace labor rights that we, as Guild members, enjoy today. This year we come upon the 110th Anniversary of the Bread and Roses Organizing conducted by brave women textile workers in Lawrence. These ancestors of ours lived daily 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 largely women 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 often reflect upon the Haitian, Cape Verdean, and Latino-a workers who kept both busy facilities open during the Covid pandemic. These committed workers 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 justice continues!
Please consider contributing 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 our healthcare and service-industry colleagues who have sustained our local economy and society during the pandemic, even as the close quarters of triple-decker placed them at risk. We must recognize the compassionate hearts of all workers, past, and present!
Thank you very much for considering this appeal.
Sincerely yours in Christ,
Rev. Marc Fallon, C.S.C.
The Labor Guild, Archdiocese of Boston