TO THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION FRA
WORKERS MUTILATED AND INVALID FROM WORK (ANMIL)
Thursday, September 20, 2018
Dear brothers and sisters, good morning!
I extend my affectionate greeting to all of you, to the President, whom I thank for the words he has addressed to me, and to all the members of your Association. By gathering and supporting those who have suffered mutilations or disabilities in their work, and striving to promote a culture and practice that is attentive to health and safety, ANMIL has a very important social function, for which, on behalf of God's people, poster esteem and gratitude.
Those who, at work, are injured with permanent and debilitating consequences, live in a situation of particular suffering, especially when the disability they bring prevents them from continuing to work and providing for themselves and their loved ones, as they once did. To all of them I express my closeness. God comforts those who suffer, having suffered himself, and makes himself close to every situation of poverty and humility. With his strength, everyone is called to an active commitment to solidarity and support for those who are the victims of accidents at work; support that must extend to families, equally affected and in need of comfort. By doing this, ANMIL performs a noble and essential task, and calls on the whole society to have a duty of gratitude and concrete help to those who have been injured in carrying out their work. The scarcity of resources, which the governments rightly worry, certainly can not touch delicate areas like this, because the cuts must concern waste, but solidarity must never be cut!
The indispensable dimension of assistance does not exhaust the tasks of society and of the Association itself, which in the Statute (see Article 3) provides for a professional and social insertion or reintegration, and is attentive to the fact that solidarity is always conjugated with subsidiarity, which represents its completion, so that everyone is allowed to offer his own contribution to the common good. The social teaching of the Church, to which I urge you to always inspire you, constantly recalls this balance between solidarity and subsidiarity. It must be sought and built in every circumstance and social context, so that, on the one hand, solidarity is never lacking and, on the other, it is not limited to it by making passive those who can still make an important contribution to the world work, but actively involve it, putting its capabilities to good use.
The subsidiary style, which I have now referred to, helps the whole civil community to overcome the fallacious and harmful equivalence between work and productivity, which leads to measuring the value of people based on the quantity of goods or wealth they produce, reducing them to a system, and debasing their peculiarity and personal wealth. This sick look contains within itself the germ of exploitation and enslavement, and is rooted in a utilitarian conception of the human person.
Precisely for this reason the tireless activity of the ANMIL in favor of workers' rights, starting from the weakest and least protected, such as women, the elderly and immigrants is precious. Here, our world needs a tremor of humanity, which leads us to open our eyes and see that those in front of us are not a commodity, but a person and a brother in humanity.
In this regard, I can not but rejoice in the commitment you make in collaboration with civil institutions, and in particular with the Ministry of Labor and with that of Education, University and Research. You have given birth to many training projects, aimed at school students and workers, managers and managers of companies, so that they become more aware of the needs of safety and protection of workers' health. This synergy has also produced, now ten years ago, the important single text on security, on whose full implementation you are called to monitor. This constant attention to the legislative sphere, as well as to the commitment of solidarity, reveals on your part the awareness that the creation of a new culture of work can not do without a more adequate legislative framework, which meets the real needs of workers, as well as a deeper social conscience on the problem of protection of health and safety, without which the laws would remain a dead letter.
The finalization of the legislative plan, as well as the formation of a culture more attentive to the safety of work, aims at the detailed and valuable Report on health and safety in the workplace, which you presented a few days ago. It testifies to your dedication and concreteness and reveals, to anyone who takes it in hand, that the battles that have been going on for 75 years with commitment and determination, do not concern only those who have been the victim of work or perform dangerous and weary jobs, but every citizen , because together with the culture of work and security the very substance of democracy is at stake, based on respect for and protection of everyone's life.
Dear friends, I urge you to carry on this noble mission, which contrasts indifference and sadness and increases fraternity and joy. I accompany you with my prayer and my blessing. And you too, please do not forget to pray for me. Thank you.
TEXT Source: Vatican.va - Original Text in Italian - Unofficial Translation