The pontiff appeared to be referring to the gruelling labour often done by poor migrants in rich countries across the world but also to other workers on precarious contracts.
The 79-year-old Argentinian made the comments during mass at the Vatican, when he told a story about a girl who found a job working 11 hours a day for €650 a month (NZ$1,080), paid “under the table.”
'This is starving the people with their work for my own profit,” he said at the service. “Living on the blood of the people and this is a mortal sin.”
The renowned religious leader grew up in a tough neighbourhood of Buenos Aires and once worked as a nightclub bouncer.
“Without a pension, without health care...then they suspend (the contract), and in July and August (the workers) have to eat air,” he added. “And in September, they laugh at you about it. Those who do that are true bloodsuckers.”
More like this:
Waikato support workers stop work over wages
$7K fine for employer with missing records
Three ways HR can combat workplace stress
Pope Francis has stepped into the world of HR, slamming “bloodsucker” bosses who rely on unfair employment contracts to exploit vulnerable workers.