The Future of Labour and Labour in the Future
Second Plenary Session, 20-23 March 1996
Acta 2, eds. E. Malinvaud and M. Archer
Vatican City, 1998
I. Catholic Social Teaching and Employment
Catholic Social Teaching and Labor (PDF)
J. Schasching S.J.
Work Across the World: Some Basic Features (PDF)
The Present and Future of Work (PDF)
International Migration, Distribution of Work and Development (PDF)
II. The Future of Employment
Le chômage dans les économies mixtes: évitable ou non? (PDF)
Financial Markets in Relation to Employment and Unemployment (PDF)
La démocratie: ses relations avec l'emploi et la représentation des intérêts du capital et du travail (PDF)
III. The Regulation of Unemployment
Welfare State or Work? The Interaction of Wages, Social Protection and Family Change (PDF)
Labor Law and Labor Relations: Comparative and Historical Perspective (PDF)
IV. The Culture of Work
Employment and the Quality of Human Relationships at Work: The Working Expression of Christian Values (PDF)
V. The Right to Work and the Feasibility of Full Employment: Dialogical Points
Introduction to discussion (PDF)
VI. General Discussion and Conclusions
Introduction by Father Schasching, Observations by Msgr. Martin and Open Discussion (PDF)
The absence of work, unemployment and underemployment (in developed and less developed societies) reduces the meaning of existence. Therefore, all must be organically inserted into the production process or the service of society. The thesis of inevitable unemployment in developed societies has become widespread since the 60s. In other words, even under the conditions deemed most propitious for competitive market growth, these are insufficient to promote universal employment. Therefore, more serious attention needs to be given both by the Academy and by social teaching to the whole 'notion of a more equitable distribution of work (e.g. job-sharing, shorter working weeks for employees, gradual retirement) as well as how to incorporate different types of service to society as an authentic alternative form of work.
It is not the Academy's task or aim to advance concrete socio-economic policies, but to define the necessary social conditions which would offer the opportunity of personal fulfilment to all, and through work. Indeed it would be impossible for us to aspire to produce policy initiatives since, as an academic body we also represent many of the differences which divide our various disciplines – as can be seen amongst this collection of papers.
Nevertheless, the challenge of social teaching also challenges our future work, which must hold hard to the guiding principle that prosperity and economic growth must never be realised to the detriment of persons and people, and that no economic system or practice can be exempted from this. The desirability of 'the right to work' was the starting point of our discussions: their ultimate objective is to define some of the conditions which would contribute towards making this a real possibility.
Margaret S. Archer