Catholic Social Teaching is clear in its assertion that workers take precedence over capital in the production process; have a right to decent working conditions; should be paid a living wage, sufficient to provide a life of dignity for themselves and their dependents; and have a right to organize.
Under the process of globalization now underway, however, meaningful work that connected people to the earth and to the local community has been replaced most often by assembly plant jobs that undercut family and community life, are dehumanizing, and do not pay the workers a living wage. All workers, both organized labor and the informal sector, seem to be in a “race for the bottom” as highly mobile corporations pursue the cheapest labor sources in every corner of the world. Job loss is common as local products are undersold by imported goods. In many places the real value of wages has decreased while productivity has increased. Millions of people now work in the informal sector without regular income or benefits.