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A whistleblower complaint against President Trump sets off tug-of-war between Congress and the White House; and students around the world strike today to demand action on climate change.

2020Talks - September 20, 2019. (3 min.)  


Climate change is a big issue this election season, and global climate strikes kick off, while UAW labor strikes continue.

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Mothers' Group To U.S. Senate: “We're Trapped in the Last Century”

June 18, 2009

Albany, NY - The National Association of Mothers' Centers this week told a bipartisan U.S. Senate working group that an outdated lack of flexibility in the workplace is punishing vast numbers of family caregivers. The group says these caregivers are victims of public policy and a corporate culture that was forged in the middle of last century, when fathers went to work and mothers cared for the kids at home.

Executive Director Linda Lisi Jurgens says her group is asking the Senate work group to consider legislation for work/life reform, in order to bring family caregiving into the 21st Century.

"There has been a change in the demographics of how families are functioning: who is working and who is able to be home. But, the policies and the corporate culture don't support that."

Juergens' group asked Senators to consider – among other things - paid sick days for private sector employees who currently have no sick leave - about one-half the workforce; and paid family medical leave, for workers who must care for family members of any age.

Workplace flexibility reform measures, says Jeurgens, should not be viewed as running counter to the interests of businesses. Studies show that employers who integrate flexibility into their corporate culture find it enhances employee morale and productivity, she adds.

"Among the characteristics of companies that are the most-effective are their flexibility in terms of their workforce and what their workforce needs."

While employers during an economic downturn see fewer reasons to worry about their workers leaving for jobs with better benefits, Jurgens says, when the expected upturn arrives, those who offer flexibility will profit in the long run.

"Employers who are able to implement this type of thing successfully are saying, 'I get much more out of my workers now that I do this; I have a much lower turnover."

The National Association of Mothers' Centers was asked to submit its statement to The Senate Workplace Flexibility Study Group, which was established in August by three Democrats — Sens. Blanche Lincoln of Arkansas, Herb Kohl of Wisconsin, Christopher Dodd of Connecticut; and three Republicans: Michael Crapo of Idaho, Susan Collins of Maine and George Voinovich of Ohio.

The group's Washington, D.C.-based blog has current posts about related legislation at www.womaninwashington.org.

Mark Scheerer, Public News Service - NY