Business is obliged to protect peoples’ dignity – and those who lay off employees solely for economic gain commit a serious sin, Pope Francis recently told employees of a TV platform in Italy. “He who shuts factories and closes companies because of economic operations and unclear negotiations, depriving men and women from work, commits a very grave sin,” the Pope said in reference to Sky Italy’s recent cutbacks. Sky Italy is a platform for digital satellite television. Partly owned by 21st Century Fox, they are also a major broadcaster for sports. Sky has recently announced plans to downsize and move 300 employees to Milan from Rome.
The Pope emphasized the dignity work gives to men and women and lamented employers who do not keep their responsibility to access to this dignity. “Work gives dignity, and managers are obliged to do all possible so that every man and woman can work and so carry their heads high and look others in the eye with dignity.” Pope Francis has spoken on the accountability of a business to its workers before. Addressing the Italian Christian Union of Business Executives in 2015, he encouraged the estimated 7,000 gathered at the Vatican to look at ethics as a necessity for economics and business.
“You are called to cooperate in order to grow an entrepreneurial spirit of subsidiarity, to deal with the ethical challenges of the market and, above all, the challenge of creating good employment opportunities.” The Pope ended his speech with hope for a quick resolution that “considers the respect for the rights of all, especially for families.”