GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., Feb. 10, 2003 — Do labor unions offer the best protection for the worker? Liberating Labor , a new monograph in the Acton Institute’s Christian Social Thought Series , questions the assumption that Christian social teaching unequivocally endorses all forms of trade unionism. In light of the Church’s defense of freedom of association, for example, compulsory union membership is clearly at odds with Christian teaching.
Author Charles W. Baird, chairman of the economics department at California State University-Hayward, examines what he calls the “systematic compulsory unionism that gives rise to the phenomenon of labor monopolies.” He closes the 85-page essay with a proposal for voluntary unionism that is consistent with the principle of freedom of association.
“This monograph offers the first rigorous — yet accessible — economic analysis of labor unions and the labor market that takes into account the Christian understanding of labor,” said Gloria Zúñiga , executive editor of the Christian Social Thought Series .
Liberating Labor is available for $6 through the Acton Book Shoppe ( http://www.acton.org/bookshoppe/ ).