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Kingdom People: Awake
Tonia O. Alabi

Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his countrymen work for nothing, not paying them for their labour. Jeremiah 22:13

As I was thinking about the way we treat our youth and workers as employers of labour in current time, I came across this article on “Duties of Employers” on www.faithacoma.org and I felt relieved that I was not the only one concerned about how unfairly workers are being treated in our days.

Under the guise, that the economy is not good and entrepreneurs are going through a lot to keep in business, we have started reverting to the times of master and slave days. This trend is fast developing and we seem not to be aware of it.

The government of so many of our countries have failed their people by not providing jobs for the youth or encourage people who have developed their own businesses. The imposition of taxes on businesses yet to find their feet, or the multiple taxation system as well as high cost of funds encouraged by irresponsible governance makes it easy excuse for an evil minded employer-the slave driver.

Our governments are encouraging foreign investors to come and establish their businesses on our lands without monitoring or providing guidelines of how they want our people who are going to be employed by these people to be treated in term of wages, pensions and work hours. So the people exploit our young one who have no other options. These companies, who make so much money from our country, many more times than they make in their home countries have different remuneration standards for our people. They pay us far less than they pay workers of the same level in their home countries as well as work schedules and conditions of service.

They agree to pay a certain amount as salary. They pay the worker for the first month and subsequent months, the salary is not paid timely. It becomes like you are paid on bi-monthly basis, and various deductions such as pensions (that the worker has no statement of) or flimsy deductions such as a particular dress code are made to make the worker’s take home salary not able to take the worker home. You see these young ones having to borrow at times to keep their jobs. God forgive you if you are one of such employers.

Remember the story of Laban and Jacob Gen. 31. Laban is an example of a crafty employer who uses all manner of strategies to pay as little as possible to his workers and keep as much as possible for himself. He changed Jacob’s wages ten times in an effort to defraud him of his dues.

Imagine a situation where an owner of a business expects his workers to use their money to buy materials used for the work of his company without refund. It is now the trend of some school owners to demand their teachers to print work materials for pupils in their school. They even impose heavy amount of work tools such as computers on their teachers not minding if the teacher has planned budgets of their priority expense – God forgive this evil employers and deliver these poor workers from their bondage. Remember the Lord would one day heed the cry of his people. Malachi 3:5, Deut 24:14-15 and James 5:4 attest to the fact that the Lord is looking, He cares and would act.

Hmm, what do you say of an organisation which pays its staff only to be able to come to work, they pay so little and inconsistently that the employees can never be able to put any money aside as savings. They do this purposely so that the worker cannot be able to leave the job since it is unsure to secure another one. They extend working hours without prior notice and no overtime pay. They care less about the workers family, their employees are not supposed to have a family life. Women now work as late as men, even some later. The children are raised by nannies, who can only do that to the best of their knowledge. You have no relationship with your child than that of an ATM.

The Ten Commandments given to Moses for God’s people states clearly how we are to live as God’s people (Kingdom people). Jesus Christ in the Sermon on the Mountain admonishes us to always care for each other. Be your brother’s keeper. Pope Francis has dedicated this year to Envangelisation, that the Kingdom of God may expand. We therefore, as Christians must help each other to live fulfilled live. Your worker must be treated with dignity; they must feel happy working with you and must be able to secure their future while working with you.

Do unto others that which you want to be done to you. Treat the workers as you would want yourself or your child to be treated .Your employee must prosper while working with you (genuinely though), they will in turn prosper you as they will become more diligent and loyal. They will promote your business everywhere they go, people who see them progressing, will know you are growing a solid establishment. Christians in the corridors of power must rise and make amends, be the voice in the wilderness.

Employers love your employees as yourself. That venture you have is not yours, it is the Lord’s. You are as well a worker positioned with the responsibility of sharing God’s wealth which has been put in your care. The blessings of that business is not before you and your children alone, but also to be enjoyed by those families attached to the business. Do not keep changing your houses and cars, going on holidays at every opportunity, while your old and well serving staff is still finding it difficult to pay his rent.

You can shelve some of your personal treats just to help that diligent staff (who has helped you to build up the business to this enviable status) to acquire a land of his own and beg God to help you to support him to achieve building it up. It is not all the time about money, it could just be some prompting and monitoring. It might be just an information of how a piece of land could be acquired at an easy to own rate.
When we do this, we are showing we care about their future, we are sharing God’s love and wisdom. We are prospering God’s kingdom on earth.

In the article “Duties of Employers,” the sentence, “The Lord is watching” was repeated many times.

Be a good Christian, a good Catholic at that. Be your Brother’s Keeper. Let’s share God’s wealth, we only need a little for ourselves. Some of those trips could be paid for as an appreciation form an ex- worker whom you have been instrumental to the growth. The Lord owns the future and He will always replenish us. (Matt.6: 31-32)

Awake, love share and be a Winner in Christ. Win the Kingdom of Heaven. Have a fruitful Lent.

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