PCS Strike

I think this threatened strike action by Home Office staff, on the very eve of the Olympic games, is wrong, and I think it can be demonstrated to be immoral:

Some sins, however, by their very matter constitute a direct attack on one's neighbor and more exactly, in the language of the Gospel, against one's brother or sister. They are an offense against God because they are offenses against one's neighbor. These sins are usually called social sins, and this is the second meaning of the term. In this sense social sin is sin against love of neighbor, and in the law of Christ it is all the more serious in that it involves the Second Commandment, which is "like unto the first."(72) Likewise, the term social applies to every sin against justice in interpersonal relationships, committed either by the individual against the community or by the community against the individual. Also social is every sin against the rights of the human person, beginning with the right to nd including the life of the unborn or against a person's physical integrity. Likewise social is every sin against others' freedom, especially against the supreme freedom to believe in God and adore him; social is every sin against the dignity and honor of one's neighbor. Also social is every sin against the common good and its exigencies in relation to the whole broad spectrum of the rights and duties of citizens. The term social can be applied to sins of commission or omission-on the part of political, economic or trade union leaders, who though in a position to do so, do not work diligently and wisely for the improvement and transformation of society according to the requirements and potential of the given historic moment; as also on the part of workers who through absenteeism or non-cooperation fail to ensure that their industries can continue to advance the well-being of the workers themselves, of their families and of the whole of society.

Source: Reconciliatio et paenitentia (no. 16).

As a country, we need to make the most of the Olympics. If successful, it will provide a much needed boost to the economy, with the country flooded with visitors, who will spend money. It will also serve to lift the spirits of the general populace and God knows we need it after a summer which has been nothing short of a complete wash-out thus far.

The PCS are trying to use the Olympics as an opportunity to blackmail the government into meeting their demands by threatening to sabotage the success of an event which is of benefit to the country as a whole. That strikes me as extremely manipulative and working to the detriment of society as a whole, not to its improvement.

The Church, of course, supports the right to strike (c.f. Compendium of the Social Teaching of the Church no. 304). However, strikes are the ultimate sanction, and legitimate as a means of last recourse by workers (c.f. Laborem exercens n. 20). Misuse of this "weapon [emphasis mine, but N.B. this is a direct quote: that's a very strong word for this action!] can lead to the paralysis of the whole of socioeconomic life, and this is contrary to the requirements of the common good of society, which also corresponds to the properly understood nature of work itself." (Laborem exercensIbid).

Successful work means co-operation to the mutual benefit of all parties involved. Successful business means delivering the best product you can at a price which is mutually satisfactory. The PCS should think again about this action and reschedule for a less disruptive period.

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