"'So I will come near to you for judgment. I will be quick to testify against sorcerers, adulterers, and perjurers, against those who defraud laborers of their wages, who oppress the widows and the fatherless, and deprive aliens of justice, but do not fear me,' says the LORD Almighty" (Malachi 3:5, NIV).
Recently my co-workers and I discovered that the vast majority of us would be losing between 10-25% of our income and between 26-52 days off per year (meaning working every other Saturday or every Saturday). This may be the most difficult and stressful year on our jobs in quite a while.
I have been thinking about how to respond. My family and I will be hurt by this, but so will nearly every co-worker and his or her family. (Many of them will hurt worse. Some part-time employees may lose their jobs entirely.) Will I spend the year whining about the injustice? Will I become lazy, thinking that by doing less on my job I will get even? No, those are childish and counter-productive responses.
I remember something that Indianapolis Colts coach Tony Dungy's father said to him when things were not going his way: "What are you going to do to improve the situation?" (That may not be an exact quote, because I gave my copy of his book Quiet Strength to a co-worker whose son recently died of an accidental drug overdose. I can't look up the exact quote.)
Last night, I attended a district meeting of my labor union and signed up to become a delegate to the state convention for this summer. I do not know exactly how I can help my friends at work and myself, but I know that becoming more involved in my union can help. I will be able to gain more information. I will be able to propose and vote on resolutions that may help in future contract negotiations. I do not know if I can help improve the situation, but I feel the need to try.
Of course, I will also be praying, finding ways to spend less money over the next year, and trying to keep my co-workers from becoming too discouraged and frustrated.