Catholicism and Unions: The Case for Adjunct Unions at Catholic Universities

By James Bailey


This article addresses recent controversies related to the formation of adjunct unions at several Catholic universities, with a particular focus on Duquesne University in Pittsburgh (the author’s institution). It argues that current efforts underway at several Catholic universities to thwart the formation of adjunct unions are contrary to Catholic teaching and have potentially harmful implications for society as a whole. In making this argument, the article provides an overview of the theological and philosophical underpinnings of the church’s support of unions and engages the claim made by Catholic universities (and some legal scholars) that National Labor Relations Board involvement in adjunct unions constitutes a threat to religious freedom.

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