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Work and Family

Work and Family

Although the “traditional” family—a father who works outside the home and financially supports the children and a mother whose work is keeping the house and raising the children—has been disappearing for more than a generation, our workplaces and government policies have not kept pace with America’s new reality.

Most children are growing up in homes with both parents working or with single parents. One-third of workers don’t have access to paid sick leave, and only 42 percent have paid personal leave. What’s the impact on public health when working people can’t afford to take sick days during a flu epidemic? Who takes care of a sick child? Who’s home to fix dinner and help with homework? Who can dedicate time to a sick elderly parent?

The recession and jobless recovery have complicated life further for working families, when having to leave work for a family emergency could lead to long-term unemployment.

Work and Family Toolkit

Collective bargaining provides working people the opportunity to make their workplaces work for working families. Many unions have arrived at innovative agreements that help working people meet their family obligations while ensuring the employer can succeed.

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Women Deserve a Voice on the Job and at the Ballot Box

Liz Shuler and Page Gardner

Today, we celebrate Women’s Equality Day, a day that commemorates the 19th Amendment being ratified granting millions of women the right to vote. In the 95 years since, women have used their votes to better their lives, strengthen their families and protect their communities. But women have yet to maximize their power at the polls—about one-third of all U.S. women and nearly 40% of unmarried women are not registered to vote—or in the workplace. The labor movement provides almost 7 million women with a voice on the job through union membership and is a driving force in the fight for economic equality and security for women.  

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