Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Congregations Honor Workers With Focus on Tax Justice

Press Release:
Missouri Jobs with Justice hosts “Labor in the Pulpits”
Labor Day services

St. Louis, MO More than 50 congregations in St Louis and across the state will honor workers around Labor Day this year. Labor in the Pulpits/on the Bimah/in the Minbar is an annual nationwide event that celebrates the link between faith, work and justice. Thousands of congregations have focused Labor Day weekend services on the injustices facing workers and the religious communities’ efforts to support those workers’ struggles for living wages and family-sustaining beenfits. The program is coordinated nationally by Interfaith Worker Justice (www.iwj.org) and locally by Missouri Jobs with Justice (www.mojwj.org).

The Rev. Rudy Pulido, a St. Louis Jobs with Justice Workers’ Rights Board Member said, “The relationship of religion and labor is deep-seated in the basic tenets of many faiths. As such it elevates labor issues from the plateau of economics to the heights of humanitarianism and makes it incumbent upon faith leaders, labor leaders and corporations to respect and deal with one another as individuals of incredible worth.”

Because of continued attacks on public services and public employees, and because the Missouri legislature has prioritized corporate interests over the interests of working families, the 2011 Labor in the Pulpit Program will concentrate on the “Morality of Missouri’s Tax Structure.”

Faith leaders across the state are recognizing that the state budget is not investing in the educational and economic opportunties for Missouri’s children. The state is neglecting key components of our infrastructure, like transportation and the safety and health of Missourians. The faith communities participating in the Labor in the Pulpits program this year envision a better future for Missouri. Turning that vision into reality will involve making choices to invest in the public structures that reflect our values and build strong communities.

Tamara Cox, a Missouri social service provider, is quoted in this year’s Labor in the Pulpits’ materials, “I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is and say enough of this talk about cutting services for elderly people, poor people, and children. I want to live in a generous, fair society and I think that there are a lot of people who think the same way.”

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