Pope Francis on Wednesday condemned as “slave labour” the conditions for hundreds of workers killed in a factory collapse in Bangladesh and urged political leaders to fight unemployment in a sweeping critique of “selfish profit”.
The pope said he had been particularly struck by a headline saying workers at the factory near Dhaka were being paid just 38 euros ($50) a month.
“This is called slave labour!” the pope was quoted by Vatican radio as saying in his homily at a private mass in his residence to mark May Day.
More than 400 workers have been confirmed dead and scores are missing in the collapse, which occurred in a suburb of the capital Dhaka last week in the country’s worst-ever industrial disaster.
“Today in the world this slavery is being committed against something beautiful that God has given us — the capacity to create, to work, to have dignity,” the pope said at the mass.
Phi Beta Iota: There are two types of slavery: hard indentured slavery; and soft “manufactured consent” via rule by secrecy and/or information asymmetry.