It means just what is says. No more. No less.
The statement stems from a principle of Economic Justice which values the existence of people over the profits of merchants.
That is not to say they are at odds with one another, in fact, just the opposite. The best interests of the people are also the best interests of a merchant who wishes to continue in their endeavor -- for without people -- their profits would vanish.
Consider these points made by John Ruskinin in his writings "Unto This Last" (1862):
These charts tell a story of interrelatedness among the ideas of:
Labor and Capital -- Environment and Profit -- Justice and Power.
Each of them are worthy of a moments study.