|Poland||POPE DEFENDS WORKERS' RIGHTS|
The worker remains more important than the product was the message of Pope John Paul II on Monday, when he addressed thousands of youth on the rights of workers in the Sosnowiec diocese in the industrial region of Upper Silesia.
"We cannot forget the divine perspective of sharing in the work of creation, which confers upon all human effort true meaning and dignity," he said. "Without this perspective... the man who does the work is no longer important, and all that matters is the material worth of what is produced."
John Paul II went on to address the dangers inherent in the shift towards a more capitalist economy. "Because of the laws of the market, human rights are forgotten... It happens, for example, when the claim is made that economic profit justifies taking away the job of someone who loses not only a job but every prospect for maintaining himself or the family.
But the Pope also challenged workers not to fall into the same temptation as some bosses, to regard the job as solely a source of material enrichment. "The job can dominate a man's life to the point where he no longer notices his need to look after his health, the development of his personality, the happiness of his loved ones or in the end his relationship with God."
Zenit 11:32am 16/6/99