March 22, 2016 

Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice stands in solidarity with non-tenure track faculty at Holy Names University who seek to form a labor union to bargain collectively for just wages, job security, health and retirement benefits, and other improvements to the workplace that befit their dignity as human beings created in the image of God. 

We call upon the Trustees of Holy Names University to support their employees as they assert the right to free association that is rooted in the natural moral law and that serves as the cornerstone of Catholic Social Teaching on workers’ rights. 

We strongly encourage the faculty, students, administration, and staff of Holy Names to stand in solidarity with the contingent faculty as they pursue this noble cause. Support for labor unions enjoys a long history in the Catholic Church. Following the medieval support for guilds of working people the Catholic Church, since the publication of Pope Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum (1891), has given exceptional support for labor unions. The official teaching of the Catholic Church as found in the Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church (2004) holds that labor unions exert a “positive [influence for social order and solidarity, and are therefore an indispensable element of social life.” (#305) In 1986 the Catholic Bishops of the United States stated: “The Church fully supports the right of workers to form unions or other associations to secure their rights to fair wages and working conditions…No one may deny the right to organize without attacking human dignity itself.” (Economic Justice for All, #104) [For a complete understanding of Catholic teaching on labor unions, see Chapter 6 of the Compendium, “On Human Work.” See also Catholic Scholars for Worker Justice’s Foundational Statement and “Union Busting is a Mortal Sin,” found on our website at


“We will be responsive the opportunities and challenges of our times through our ongoing commitment to the liberating action, courage, and integrity expressed in the SNJM charism. We will create an inclusive campus community that recognizes and considers the voices and contributions of students, faculty, and staff in University decision-making.”

 Holy Names University Vision Statement


Here:  See the letter from Catholic Scholars of Worker Justice