By Evan Henerson

A labor dispute involving Italy’s Sky Italia airlines just received a pro-worker endorsement from a man who you wouldn’t necessarily expect to weigh in on such matters: Pope Francis.

According to the Associated Press, Sky Italia employees are facing massive job cuts and/or relocation as the company moves its offices from Rome to Milan. Urging Sky Italia to resolve the unrest in a way that benefits families, the Pope said that “those who for economic reasons or to conclude unclear negotiations, close factories and business ventures and take away jobs, this person is committing a very grave sin.”

In fact, maybe you would expect the Pope to have a position since this is not the first time he has spoken out in favor of a dignified work environment. The AP reports that he has spoken against the high rate of unemployment and youth unemployment both in Italy and elsewhere. Italy’s jobless rate is at 12% and youth unemployment is near 40% according to Reuters.

Back in 2013, the Pope called for an end to slave labor and human trafficking and asked for greater efforts to create dignified work for a larger number of people. 

Unemployment, he told Catholic News Service , is “very often caused by a purely economic view of society which seeks self-centered profit, outside the bounds of social justice.” Giving new impetus to employment, he said, “means caring for the dignity of the person.”  

Read the full AP article here and Catholic News Service’s 2013 account here


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