Right, wrong and religion

Sep 03 2008 by Derek Torres Print This Article

What role does religion have in convincing people to stand up for their rights? Well, for some, it has every role and is a duty. But is it any less of a duty for those of us who don't adhere to any religion? Take, for example, a recent case of an employee of US drugstore chain, Rite Aide, who was fired for trying to organize a union.

Stuart Applebaum, of the Jewish Labor Committee, makes some excellent points as to why it is our duty to stand up for justice in the workplace. However, he loses me when he tries to tie it in to making it a Jewish issue. Frankly, it's a public standard of decency that should compel employers to treat their workers fairly and for employees to stand up for justice.

I suppose any issue can make the argument that their teachings make the case that their followers should follow this basic principle. However, Mr. Applebaum could reach a larger audience with his spot on message if he tailored it to a more diverse audience.

The point to take away from this article is that the employee, Debbie Fontaine, was fired for trying to organize union representation for her co-workers. American labor laws are so management-oriented that it was permissible for her to lose her job for such a heinous offense.

While some may laud such tactics, it's certainly not a pleasant working environment when management becomes like an abusive husband and starts to threaten withholding paychecks, sackings and being spied upon.

Growing up, I was always taught to avoid three sensitive subjects: money, politics, and religion. The main point of interest in this article shouldn't be any religion overtones, but rather weak labor laws or enforcement that allows people like Ms. Fontaine to be sacked.