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Pope raps corporate layoff decision in Italian steel-mill dispute

September 03, 2014

Pope Francis expressed sympathy for striking Italian workers at a German-owned steel mill, during his regular public audience on September 3.

Workers at the mill in Terni, Italy, went on strike after the parent company, ThyssenKrupp, announced heavy layoffs. The workers—backed by Bishop Giuseppe Piemontese—said that the company’s approach violated the principle that workers should have a say in corporate decisions.

“I express my profound concern over the grave situation being experience by many of the families in Terni due to the proposals of ThyssenKrupp,” Pope Francis said as he concluded his Wednesday audience. “Once again, I make a heartfelt appeal, that a logic of profit does not prevail, but one of solidarity and justice.”

In an extemporaneous remark that was clearly critical of the company’s decision, the Pope said that someone who “takes away work, know he takes away the dignity of the person.”


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  • Posted by: loumiamo7154 - Sep. 04, 2014 1:03 PM ET USA

    Is there never such aa thiing as a just layoff. If a war can be judged as just or not, its not that much of a stretch to think that layoffs may also be completely just, depending on circumstances. For the steel company to keep providing employment for 80% of its work force is something it should be congratulated for. Complaining about the unfortunate 20% is something the socialists always do. It'd be nice to have our prelature behave a mite better than socialists, it'd be a nice change indeed.

  • Posted by: shrink - Sep. 03, 2014 6:32 PM ET USA

    But what does Francis think about Market Basket?