Work, a Fundamental Human Right

Work is human effort. It is the conscious and personal pursuit of man-his contribution to the great undertaking of generations, the activity involved in the sustenance and progress of humanity, of nations, and of families. It is clear that men occupied in a given kind of work have the right to associate freely for the purposes of that work, in order to obtain all the benefits that work is intended to serve. This is one of the fundamental human rights, the right of man as worker, who, "subduing the earth" precisely by his labor, desires that both in the workplace and in labor matters, human life on this earth should become truly humane, and indeed increasingly humane. 

SPEECH TO A DELEGATION OF THE POLISH LABOR UNION SOUDARITY January 5, 1981

(Pope John Paul II, “Love is the Explanation of Everything”, Rizzoli 2011, Page 029)

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