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Statement by AFL-CIO President John Sweeney on UC Berkeley Report: Family-Friendly Workplaces: Do Unions Make a Difference?
AFL-CIO.org, July 16, 2009

Today's report by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education and the Labor Project for Working Families comes at a seminal moment for the debate on economic and labor law reform in this country. This report emphasizes a crucial point - - that unions help families at a time when workers are forced to work more hours in an increasingly unstable environment, and as the social system in our country is being chipped away.

A unionized workplace dramatically helps working families. According to the report, unions increase compliance with the Family and Medical Leave Act, ensure paid sick leave for employees and their children, and increase the likelihood that health care is covered for families. As corporations force working people to work longer and spend more time away from their home, unions are key to creating an economy that works for everyone and ensuring that workers have flexibility in handling their family and work responsibilities. Corporations have spent billions to try to eliminate benefits like paid sick leave, time off, and health care coverage. Without workers' freedom to form and join unions, corporations will continue to chip away at the family-friendly practices that help working people across the country.

To download "Family-Friendly Workplaces: Do Unions Make a Difference?" go to http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu or http://www.working-families.org

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