Statement on Wage Fairness: The Story of Amanda

In the realm of Radical Christianity, our commitment to social justice extends to issues of wage fairness. At the heart of this commitment lies our belief in the inherent worth and dignity of every worker.

Let us share with you the story of Amanda, a dedicated worker at an American call center. Amanda, like countless others, finds herself in a situation where her labor brings substantial benefits to her employer, yet she struggles to receive fair compensation in return.

As Amanda diligently takes orders over the phone, she invests her time and effort into ensuring customers are satisfied, even excelling at upselling additional products. Within the span of an hour, Amanda’s efforts can translate into hundreds of dollars in revenue for the company. However, in stark contrast to her contributions, Amanda earns just $11 for her dedicated hour of work.

This scenario is symbolic of a broader issue facing American workers—a deeply rooted disparity between the value of their labor and the compensation they receive. It is demoralizing for Amanda, as it is for many, to witness their hard work and dedication lead to increased profits for their employers while their wages remain historically low.

In Radical Christianity, we stand firmly against such injustices. We admonish greedy corporations that prioritize their bottom line over the fair treatment of their workers. We advocate for fair wages as a moral imperative, believing that every individual who contributes to the success of an organization deserves to be compensated justly.

Our commitment to wage fairness is not merely a matter of economic policy but a reflection of our belief in the inherent worth of each person. We envision a just society where workers like Amanda are valued and rewarded for their contributions, where the dignity of labor is upheld, and where the pursuit of economic equality aligns with our core principles of compassion, love, and social justice.

What does scripture tell us?

Leviticus 19:13 (NIV): “Do not defraud or rob your neighbor. Do not hold back the wages of a hired worker overnight.”

This verse from the Book of Leviticus is a clear and unambiguous directive from the Lord. It emphasizes the moral imperative of treating workers justly and underscores the gravity of withholding their rightful wages. The prohibition against defrauding or robbing one’s neighbor extends to every worker, reminding us that honesty and fairness in compensation are fundamental principles of a just society.

James 5:4 (NIV): “Look! The wages you failed to pay the workers who mowed your fields are crying out against you. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord Almighty.”

The Book of James echoes the sentiment found in Leviticus, emphasizing the divine concern for the fair treatment of workers. It vividly illustrates the consequences of withholding wages and serves as a powerful reminder that the cries of the oppressed are not unnoticed by the Lord. This verse highlights the moral responsibility to ensure that workers receive their due compensation promptly and without exploitation.

These verses, among others found throughout Scripture, provide us with a solid biblical mandate to advocate for wage fairness and just treatment of workers. They remind us that our faith is not confined to the spiritual realm alone but is intricately tied to our actions in the world. By adhering to these principles, we seek to align our advocacy with the timeless wisdom of Scripture, striving for a society where workers are treated as workers, not as slaves, and where justice prevails for all.

Here are a few additional passages:

  1. Deuteronomy 24:14-15 (NIV):

“Do not take advantage of a hired worker who is poor and needy, whether that worker is a fellow Israelite or a foreigner residing in one of your towns. Pay them their wages each day before sunset because they are poor and are counting on it. Otherwise, they may cry to the Lord against you, and you will be guilty of sin.”

This passage underscores the importance of timely and fair payment for workers, with a special emphasis on compassion for the poor and needy.

  1. 1 Timothy 5:18 (NIV):

“For Scripture says, ‘Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,’ and ‘The worker deserves his wages.’”

In the New Testament, this verse reinforces the principle that workers should receive fair compensation for their labor, citing the Old Testament Scriptures.

  1. Proverbs 22:16 (NIV):

“One who oppresses the poor to increase his wealth and one who gives gifts to the rich—both come to poverty.”

This proverb warns against exploiting the poor for personal gain and promotes economic justice.

  1. Proverbs 14:31 (NIV):

“Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.”

This verse reminds us that our treatment of the poor and vulnerable is a reflection of our reverence for God.

  1. Colossians 4:1 (NIV):

“Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.”

While this verse addresses masters and slaves, the principle of providing what is “right and fair” extends to all employer-employee relationships.

These additional passages from both the Old and New Testaments emphasize the moral obligation to treat workers with fairness, compassion, and dignity. They highlight the biblical foundation for advocating for wage fairness and just treatment of workers, aligning with the principles of Radical Christianity.

Justifications

The Theology of Work

Labor ethics in Leviticus: The page discusses how the biblical book of Leviticus provides guidance on ethical labor practices, especially for the poor and vulnerable workers.

Day laborers’ rights: The page focuses on the case of day laborers who depend on immediate payment for their work and who may lack legal documentation or protection. It argues that employers should not exploit or abuse them.

Holiness and practicality: The page acknowledges the complexity and controversy of applying Leviticus to modern situations, but urges Christians to base their decisions on holiness rather than expediency. It also suggests consulting various sources and perspectives.