Labor Unions: Champions of Social Justice

139 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2009 Last revised: 23 Feb 2014

Date Written: October 30, 2009


Labor Unions have given much to America. The great middle class that is the economic and social backbone of the United States has prospered due, in large part, to the rights that were fought for and won by the labor movement. Today, Union membership is not growing to the extent that it did in the past. Some claim that Unions are not needed in the modern world. Why would this be the case? The modern worker may carry a portable computer rather than a hammer, but businesses still work the way they did in yesteryear. If anything they seem to be less compassionate. This indicates that Unions are needed now more than ever. The Catholic Church has traditionally endorsed Labor Unions as a vehicle for advancing the plight of the worker. In this thesis, the papal encyclicals that provide the Church’s foundation of the labor movement are shown. Several examples of corporate exploitation are given in an effort to demonstrate why unions are necessary today. International solidarity is shown by way of example also. The 2001 Right to Work (RTW) election in Oklahoma is analyzed in detail.

Keywords: labor unions, organized labor, Oklahoma, social justice, Catholic church, Right-to-Work

Suggested Citation

Guthrie, Gregory George, Labor Unions: Champions of Social Justice (October 30, 2009). Available at SSRN: or

Gregory George Guthrie (Contact Author)

Georgetown University ( email )

Washington, DC 20057
United States

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