Would a contractor fail in justice twoards his employees if he secretly induced them to accept less than award wages on the score that many unemployed would accept the job?

The Catholic Answers

Yes. Award wages are the legal price of the work to be done, and when a legal award is given, it binds in conscience. The Pope has condemned absolutely and most rigorously the conduct of those employers who exploit the evil of unemployment by inducing men to accept work at less than just wages. The legal award must be accepted as the measure of justice. Such conduct is unjust to the workers. Pope Leo XII says, “To defraud workers of a just wage is a great crime crying to Heaven for vengeance,” and he quotes the strong words of St. James from the New Testament, “Ye rich men, ye shall weep and howl in the miseries that shall come upon you. You have stored up wrath against you in the last days. Behold the hire of the laborers, which by fraud has been kept back by you, crieth; and the cry of them hath come to the ears of the Lord of Hosts.” Jas 5:1-4. Nor is it any excuse to say that the men have agreed to work for less than award rates. The employer, in suggesting it, but trades on the idea that they will be compelled by scarcity of employment to accept. It is but trading unjustly on the suffering of the workers.

Radio Replies Volume 1 by Rev. Dr. Leslie Rumble MSC and Rev. Charles Mortimer Carty