VATICAN CITY – Pope Francis has praised labor unions as the prophetic face of society, but called for a new social contract to bring more young people into the workforce.
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Meeting with one of Italy's biggest trade unions Wednesday, Francis said it was both "foolish and myopic" for companies to force people to work into their golden years while depriving young people of the dignity and societal good of a job.
Italy's youth unemployment is around 40 percent.
Francis has long defended labor unions, part of his overall denunciation of today's capitalistic, globalized society which he says has left the poor on the margins.
In his remarks, Francis denounced both the "golden retirements" given to some pensioners and the meager ones given to others, saying both are an offense to the dignity of work.