January 27, 2015More than 100 years ago, after Upton Sinclair worked undercover in Chicago meatpacking plants, he revealed the abuse and exploitation of immigrant workers in the industry—including the tragic story of a worker who fell into a rendering tank. Public reaction to his great book, “ The Jungle ,” forced federal measures to make food safer—but not workers safer. There shouldn’t be any separation between good food and good jobs, because working conditions in the food system are everyone else’s eating conditions. Unions represent workers throughout the food system—farm workers, meat cutters, poultry...
January 9, 2015We're facing a flu outbreak epidemic, but 44 million people in the United States are missing one of our most important tools to fight the flu: paid sick days!
families & the federal budget family economic security paid family leave paid sick days politics & policy
January 6, 2015We’ve heard for months that the economy is improving, except for one stubborn problem: workers’ wages aren’t rising the way they should be in a recovery. Productivity goes up, corporate profits go up, CEO pay goes way up—but most working people’s paychecks are stuck. What we haven’t heard as much about is how we can raise wages. The economy is not like the weather—it doesn’t just happen to us, and we don’t have to just sit and wait for it to get better. The leaders we elect make the policy decisions that can fix the economy. Now it’s our job to put enough pressure on them until they actually do.
childcare & early education family economic security open flexible work paid family leave paid sick days politics & policy
January 4, 2015The second Friday before Christmas was like most of my days -- essentially -- but with some unique details. I was finishing up the update of my ebook, Lean On and Lead, Mothering and Work in the 21st Century Economy , so I was making edits and chasing after approvals from various interviewees in between my double and triple-checks for typos. I also had a call with one of the mothers in the book, Hawaii State Senator Jill Tokuda, who was juggling gingerbread-house making in her older son's classroom with preparing for her new post as Chair of the Senate Ways and Means Committee. We talked...
December 30, 2014A few years ago, all three of my children got sick with the nasty H1N1 flu. I ended up missing several weeks of work to care for them. I got no sick pay and my husband and I slipped deeper into debt. It took us years to dig out. No parent should have to choose between caring for a seriously ill child and a paycheck or a job.
November 24, 2014Walmart. On one hand we have the Walton family—Walmart’s owners. With almost $150 billion in wealth, they are the richest family in the nation. On the other hand, we have Walmart workers, most of whom work for less than $25,000 a year. Most are women. And this Thanksgiving, more than 1 million of them have to go to work instead of spending the full day with their families.
November 20, 2014I am a woman of many skills and trades — I have been a school teacher, and served on the board of my school district’s union. I am a board member of 9to5 Atlanta. I am a Reverend, and like the Apostle Paul, who was a tentmaker to supplement his ministry income, nine years ago the Lord placed me in a job as a home caregiver. I was in total shock when I found out that, in such an important role as caregiver, I would only be making minimum wage, and receive no benefits.
November 20, 2014In recognition of National Family Caregivers Month in November, the broad-based coalition of organizations pushing for the Family And Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act are rallying online to call attention to family caregivers’ need for supportive workplace polices like the national paid family and medical leave program the FAMILY Act would establish. The effort is being hosted by Family Values @ Work, MomsRising and the National Partnership for Women and Families.
November 20, 2014There’s an old saying: “For want of a nail, a shoe was lost, For want of a shoe, a horse was lost, For want of a horse, a battle was lost, For want of a battle, a kingdom was lost, And all for the want of a horseshoe nail.” One small thing can lead to big consequences.