Fellowship of the Least Coin
Prayer concern for August: Labour Justice
In December 2012, a fire in a garment factory in Dhaka, Bangladesh killed over 100 people, most of them women. A global economy presents serious challenges to labour justice. Companies seeking ever lower production costs move production to places with low wages, weak labour laws and lax enforcement, resulting in supply chains rife with exploitive and dangerous working conditions.
There is concern that workers coming to Canada under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program are also vulnerable to exploitation, dangerous working conditions, isolation and precarious employment. These conditions and the terms of employment set out by the program create barriers to health care, permanent residency, family relationships and community supports.
For many Canadian citizens, precarious employment is increasingly the only option. Contract work frees employers from paying for benefits, but a lack of job security and split shifts contribute to workers’ stress and financial instability.
God, We give thanks for opportunities to work in safe, fair, just and healthy places where we can use the talents you have given us and work to your glory.
We ask your protection for those who are working under exploitive and dangerous conditions.
We ask your blessing for those whose work goes unrewarded and those with unfair pay.
We remember those who seek work and are denied because of prejudices and biases.
We remember all who suffer labour injustices in silence for fear of repercussions and we pray for justice for all.
“When justice is done, it brings joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.” (Proverbs 21:15, NIV)
Anita Gittens is WICC Membership & Nominating Chair.
She lives in Toronto, ON.