Catholic action presents dossier “Work and Social Fairness”

Linz, June 28, 2022 (KAP) The Catholic Action Austria (KAÖ) also wants to strengthen basic values ​​such as community and cohesion in the world of work – with a dossier on the subject of “work and social fairness”, which was presented in Linz on Tuesday. With a total of five parts, the first issue of which is the present dossier, the country’s most important Catholic lay organization wants to “take on an active role”, saying that it is the church’s task “to shine a flashlight on challenging situations that often remain hidden “, formulated KAÖ President Ferdinand Kaineder at the presentation in the Linz tobacco factory. It needs the commitment to “fair wages and a basic income for everyone”.

In terms of content, the new series takes up those topics that the Viennese pastoral theologian Prof. Paul Zulehner identified in a survey for which the church should work. In this way, the entire competence of KA” is “bundled, regrouped, prepared as a basis for discussion for church and society and made available in a more tangible way”, summarized KAÖ Vice President Brigitte Knell the underlying concern. All five themed booklets follow the methodical three-step “See – judge – act”.

According to Anna Wall-Strasser, Federal Chairwoman of the Catholic Workers’ Movement in Austria (KABÖ), the main question is under what conditions people secure their existence. “There is a basic tendency that has to be summed up under the keyword ‘precarization’.” This included bogus self-employment as well as the many one-person companies. “How people come under pressure here is also an economic issue,” emphasized the federal chairwoman.

The topic of “work and social fairness” is about social participation and whether everyone has the opportunity to do so. “Do I see more than myself and my family? That’s a political issue. But that’s also a big question for all of us,” emphasized Wall-Strasser. She called for “equal dignity for all” and sufficient support for it.

decent income

KABÖ federal chaplain Karl Immervoll expressed concern about the “gap in the world of work”: On the one hand, there is a shortage of skilled workers, but at the same time disabled and chronically ill people have no access to the labor market or are overwhelmed. Immervoll reported that people in Austria were often unemployed, i.e. affected by poverty, but not unemployed. A “decent income and livelihood in the Austrian labor market” is necessary. In times of increasing digitization, however, the task of perceiving as many groups of people as possible is already difficult.

The “B7 Bicycle Center” of the Episcopal Unemployment Foundation of the Diocese of Linz is also located on the site of the former Linz tobacco factory. The successful project for “Work and Life” was founded in 1984 by diocesan workers as an initiative for the unemployed at Bischofstraße 7 in order to offer job-seeking young people a place for orientation and work. Since then, the association has grown and is run as an independent, non-profit institution. Today, the “B7” is a form of “window of opportunity”, opening windows and possibilities, as well as “opening up the creative freedom again”, stressed Managing Director Ulrike Würzburger at the press event.

Martina Mayrhofer, head of the socio-economic company “Services Agency”, talked about the challenges of getting disabled women into work and the labor market for fair pay. In a youth project, young women in particular are empowered.

Tabakfabrik director Chris Müller emphasized: “I was in precariat for 20 years. The best thing about my time as an artist is that I’m debt-free today.” Müller campaigned for “digital humanism” with Wilheringen abbot Reinhold Dessl. “We need people who do ethical programming,” emphasized the expert and already announced the topic “Of people and duties in the digital age” from September 23 to 25 in the Cistercian monastery in Wilhering. A lecture by Univ.-Prof. Johannes Huber and an expedition with 33 invited guests and researchers from the field of central questions of digital humanism, scientifically accompanied by “FASresearch”. In the evening there will be lectures to which the public is also invited. A concluding service with a presentation of the topics follows on Sunday.

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