Each editorial of our previous 2017 MCW Reviews illustrated a component of the Review of Life Method; See (February) and Judge (May). Reflecting on the lived experiences and realities of ourselves and others in the light of Gospel values may only become meaningful if it becomes a provocation to take positive action towards change. Taking action can be a frightening prospect and a real challenge. However, it is important to put „taking action‟ into a context. Whilst doing nothing is not an option, we all have limits as to what is possible, of what we can do and what we can be involved in. Our actions can be small or they may involve more complicated steps. Sometimes the process of simply raising our own awareness and then sharing it with others is quite a telling act in itself.
What do we want to see changed? What can we do? How can we involve others in our actions are all questions arising at this stage of the Review of Life. What is crucial however is that you are not alone and that the aims and objectives are achievable. Having others sharing your aims along with a unity of purpose creates a solidarity of action and the continuing belief in the need for change; the need to be part of making that change. Being one person trying to raise the awareness of someone else is no less of a challenge or important than a group supporting someone taking action in the community or a workplace, or a member who has taken on a role as an MP, Local Councillor or Trade Union Rep. All are seeking to rise to the demand of being part of making change. This particular MCW Review highlights a much larger gathering which epitomises the resolve, tenacity and commitment to the Gospel that can be involved in taking action.
World Day for Decent Work: The Reality versus the Vision 7th October 2016
Experience of young graduate woman In my first week I worked 53 hours. Most shifts lasted 14 hours. Shifts can end anywhere between 12:30 a.m. and 2:00 a.m. 5 nights a week.
The employer contributed some money for taxis because buses had finished but only to a named firm, one of themost expensive. This cost me £50 a week. I know the law is to have a 20 minute break if working over 6 hours or an hour break if working over 10 but this didn’t happen. Instead, because I started at 12 noon I’d work 10 to 14 hours standing up and walking around with no food. Starting at 11:00 a.m. did mean you got something, maybe cheese on toast.
They were trying to be good by giving food but really if you work a 12+ hour shift you don’t really need your food in the first hour. Not all restaurant/bars are like this although some are. I’ve left this place now.
The B45 MCW group on Decent Work means to me ............. “A fair days wage for a fair days work and set hours of work.” “Sick pay, holiday pay, a living national wage and equal pay.” “A regular and reliable source of income for the individual that allows them to have self-respect and contribute to the wellbeing of their community and giving them the security of knowing they can feed and support themselves and their family and provide a basic education for their children.” “Security, independence, respect, citizenship, a living wage, purpose, a healthy and safe environment, where there is justice, fairness and equality”. “A fair, living wage, security of some sort, gender equality, no discrimination, safe working conditions, respect from employers and other employees.” “Enough secure hours weekly to guarantee a living wage, a safe environment with NHS contributions and pensions secure, wellbeing to work hard but not under pressure continually.”
The MCW has made this short Video, click on link https://vimeo.com/188829089
The MCW joined representatives from 12 European Movements including those from Switzerland, Spain, Germany, South Tyrol, Austria, Czech Republic, Belgium, Portugal and France for a seminar in Strasbourg from the 27-30 October, to examine the theme of ‘Dignified work in solidarity economy’.
The Movements were able to work together accepting their diversity but also reinforcing their communality in proclaiming the good news of the gospel to workers across Europe and indeed at a global level.
We heard how the world of work is increasingly a precarious one taking on different forms in our society, work with a salary which, more and more, cannot meet the rising costs of living, the increasing reliance on volunteers both in the world of work and in community associations with an over representation of women and the inequality they experience in the distribution of tasks and responsibilities.
Speakers shared with the seminar the reality of working life in Germany, France and Catalonia reminding us that work is still dominated by economic rules and not the social needs of society as a whole.
Our delegates Jim Dearlove and Paul Edwards see photo, had a positive and productive meeting with three English members of the European Parliament: Jude Kirton-Darling, Paul Brannen and Theresa Griffin, during a visit to the Strasbourg Parliament.
Our German movement KAB together ith SKM, another catholic movement, has produced a short information video on the TTIP and CETA agreements and their consequences on people and institutions in Europe. Do not hesitate in sharing this video.
The Permanent Commission of the HOAC expresses its support for the social action organisations of the Church and expresses its rejection of the announced agreement between the European Union and Turkey which is a major setback for human rights. The HOAC does not want to be indifferent to the suffering of thousands of people who are fleeing from war, conflict, and religious persecution and demands that Europe help and welcomes them. We are united with the ministers of the church who have expressed their sorrow and distress at the latest humanitarian tragedies affecting migrants and refugees. We can easily forget that behind the increase in migration, there is always the inhumanity of an unjust economic system in which profit prevails over the dignity of the human person and the common good; as well as the violence, persecution, hunger and destruction generated by the war. We think that in the European Union the duty of welcoming the stranger, and caring for those who are at risk of losing their lives is sadly missing. We have witnessed the unacceptable spectacle of the bargaining and 'auction of quotas' by European Governments. There is a great deal of generosity, solidarity and humanitarian action on the part of individuals, groups and institutions, but, as a whole, the reaction of European societies is far from being what it should be. Therefore, we join the Spanish Commission for the Support of Refugees (CEAR) in the denunciation of this agreement, which represents a major setback for human rights. Commenting on the collective expulsions contained in this agreement, CEAR states that it is «contrary to international law. The evaluation of an application for asylum must be individual and also cannot be based solely on nationality, since it would be discriminatory.» https://www.cear.es/category/noticias/
In addition the social action organisations of the church have also rejected this agreement, which "violates the international and European conventions ratified by the Member States which expressly prohibit the return of people who are persecuted or victims of war. It is therefore inappropriate. Furthermore this agreement can only increase the pain, suffering and death of those who risk their lives everyday to seek safety and protection at the gates of Europe'. Therefore, we also call on the Government, political parties and parliament to come to a common position so that, at the meeting of the European Council of March 18, the Spanish position will be to express our solidarity, and that the responsibility of the EU is to ensure the protection and welcome, and also the safe passage of all those unprotected human beings and victims of conflict and persecution. Pope Francis insists in Laudato si ' on the moral attitudes that we need to cultivate with seriousness and urgency: « True statecraft is manifest when, in difficult times, we uphold high principles and think of the long-term common good» (No. 178). “We must regain the conviction that we need one another, that we have a shared responsibility for others and the world, and that being good and decent are worth it. We have had enough of immorality and the mockery of ethics, goodness, faith and honesty”. (No. 229). We also call on the Christian community and social organizations sensitive to this situation to express their rejection of these policies. HOAC Madrid 09 March 2015