Monday, September 24, 2007

Social Doctrine of the Church - Family Wage - 2

The Compendium says that workers must be paid a "just wage." But something specific is meant here:
The simple agreement between employee and employer with regard to the amount of pay to be received is not sufficient for the agreed-upon salary to qualify as a "just wage," because a just wage "must not be below the level of subsistence" of the worker: natural justice precedes and is above the freedom of the contract (302).
This isn't exactly to say that the worker is wrong to accept such a wage in conditions in which nothing else is available to him; the problem would exist among the employers who refuse to pay more. Just as no man can justly (according to natural justice) enter into a contract to sell his wife into slavery, so too the contract above remains unjust even if it is freely arrived at.

No comments: