The threat of the first-ever strike action by Vatican lay workers, planned for June 14, was avoided when the Vatican Secretary of State promised that Pope John Paul the Second would personally intervene in the dispute.
SV Vatican workers showing pilgrims to seats in St. Peter's Square (5 shots)
CU First-aid post
SV Medical workers walking past crowds
GV Closed gates outside Vatican (2 shots)
SV PAN Ex-Vatican radio staff worker, Christine Koschel, speaking (SOT)
SV Union leader Mariano Cerullo speaking (Italian SOT) (2 shots)
GV Pope being driven around St. Peter's Square while crowd cheers
SV Pope gets out of car, which drives off (2 shots)
SPEECH TRANSCRIPT FOR SEQUENCE 5:
REPORTER: "Vatican City's lay staff....could you explain the situation there, and what it is like to work for Vatican radio?"
CHRISTINE KOSCHEL: "The situation regarding the lay staff working for the Vatican is unparalled in any European country. The Vatican state promptly sends its representative to all international organisations, for instance, to Geneva, to Strasbourg, to Paris and New York. And yet within its own walls, social injustice still prevails in the treatment of their lay staff."
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The threat of the first-ever strike action by Vatican lay workers, planned for June 14, was avoided when the Vatican Secretary of State promised that Pope John Paul the Second would personally intervene in the dispute. The strike action, called by the Vatican Layworkers' Union, was to last two hours and was intended to press for higher wages and benefits. The union, whose ranks contain almost all the 1,800 Vatican Layworkers, was formed in July 1979, and according to its founder Mariano Cerullo, a technician at the Vatican radio station, strike action was always a possibility. Previous industrial action was limited to a silent protest march in the search for official Vatican recognition. The union encompasses all categories of workers from ushers, seen here showing pilgrims to their seats at a general audience with the Pope through medical and security staff, to employees of the Vatican radio station. This former radio worker, Christine Koschel, alleged that social injustice still prevailed within the Vatican's wall. The attitude of the Pope towards the union is nuclear. Unionists believe the Pope accepts their stance. They point to a recent encyclical in which the Pope discussed the problems of work. But the Pontiff has also said he would not accept the Union's statutes without major unspecified alterations.