Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Religious Leaders Rally to the Miami Cause

The University of Miami has been using a janitorial contractor, UNICCO, who puts workers in dangerous situations, hateful situations, and neither pays adequately nor offers any healthcare benefits. People who work for Unicco have to work multiple jobs to be able to make rent and eat. Its disgusting. Moreover the president of UM, Donna Shalala, should know better. Hunger strikes are ongoing and the leadership of my union is down there supporting the fight. I've been doing a little behind the scenes stuff in DC.


Every once in a while, I read about a justice campaign and get chills. Here is a great example of the clergy from the other side of the tracks showing up and walking arm-in-arm with the people most in need of their fellowship. Lots of clergy have in the campaign to get the university of Miami to treat its janitors justly:

Nearly two months into a strike by janitors at the University of Miami, a determined band of South Florida clergy has rallied religious support for workers that crosses traditional faith boundaries.

Catholic, Protestant and Jewish leaders have prayed with striking workers, offered their sanctuaries as alternative classroom sites, sent letters to the university president and invited janitors to speak to their congregations and even joined a hunger strike.

More than a dozen Catholic and Protestant clergy have pledged to fast as a sign of solidarity with workers, said the Rev. C.J. Hawking, a United Methodist minister and member of the Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice, a national interfaith labor rights organization.

This is terrificly important. Uh oh wait, what does the rabbi in the article say:

In an opinion piece published Sunday in The Miami Herald, Rabbi Edwin Goldberg of Temple Judea in Coral Gables disagreed with the hunger strike and argued that the UM strike has more to do with union politics than social justice.

''As a member of the clergy here, there have been times that I felt that the desire for a union presence did not reflect the religious ideals that I agree with,'' Goldberg said in an interview, adding he would support a hunger strike for other issues, such as a protest of genocide in Darfur.

It makes me wonder, had rabbi goldberg been in egypt would he have said really the issue with the israelites being "oppressed" its not really a moral issue. Supporting their exodus, well its not really a reflection of the religious ideals i agree with. It wouldn't surprise me one bit. Enjoy egypt goldberg.
I hope someone told him as much at his seder last week.
Perhaps in a few weeks when its time for revelation goldberg will understand his obligation to other people to everyone whether they look like him or not.

score update:
mainline protestants 7
unions 6
donna shalala -8
goldberg -4

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