Pope Francis Attributes Workplace Mishaps to Capitalist Greed

Pope Francis Attributes Workplace Mishaps to Capitalist Greed: Pope Francis on Monday blamed workplace mishaps on excessive profit-seeking and the “idolatry of the market,” in a fresh swipe at unbridled capitalism which caused some right-wing critics to paint him as a far-left radical.

His comments came two weeks after a passing train in the northern Italian town of Brandizzo struck and killed five railroad maintenance employees. The disaster is believed to have been caused by a violation of health and safety laws.

“Tragedies (in the workplace) begin when the focus is no longer on man, but on productivity, and man turns into a production machine,” The Pontiff said while addressing the Italian Association of Injured Workers (ANMIL). He noted that the five men killed in Brandizzo were still on his mind.

Francis likened the frequent reports of workplace tragedies to a “war bulletin”. Such incidents happen when “work becomes dehumanized… and turns into an exasperated race for profit,” he said.

The pope lashed out at “carewashing”, by business people and politicians who “instead of investing in safety (at work), prefer to wash their consciences with some charitable work,” donating to the arts or sports.

The Holy Father appealed that “We cannot accept the waste of human life,” noting that, “deaths and injuries are a tragic social impoverishment that affects everyone, not just the companies or families involved.”

He further reiterated the importance of good and enforced legislation as well as the need to co-exist as brothers and sisters in the workplace.

“We are human beings and not machines, unique people and not spare parts,” the pope said.

“One cannot, in the name of greater profit,” the Pope exhorted, “demand too many working hours, decreasing concentration, or think of counting insurance or security demands as unnecessary expenses and loss of earnings.”


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