) Laying off workers is a "a grave sin", Pope Francis told a group of employees from satellite TV network Sky Italia in Rome.
"He who shuts factories and closes companies as a result of economic operations and unclear negotiations, depriving men and women from work, commits a very grave sin," Francis said on Wednesday.
The pontiff made the remarks at the end of his weekly general audience in St Peter's Square, which was attended by around 12,000 pilgrims including 100 Sky Italia workers and their children.
"Work gives dignity," the Pope said, "and managers are obliged to do everything possible so that every man and woman can work, carry their heads high and look others in the eye with dignity."
Sky Italy is currently undergoing downsizing and has announced plans to move 300 employees and their families from Rome to Milan.