In advance of the White House Summit on Working Families, the labor movement and worker groups are spending this week highlighting the stories of real working families and the challenges they face.
Today we’ll take a look at working women and moms in the workplace with the story from Bene’t Holmes. Bene’t is a 25-year-old single mother who works at Walmart in Chicago and struggles to survive on low wages. In February she suffered a miscarriage while at work, after a manager denied her request for job duties that were less physically demanding. Following her miscarriage, she asked for a leave of absence to recover and was denied that request as well. Read how Bene’t realized she needed a voice on the job and took action with the OUR Walmart campaign.
A quote from Bene’t’s story
“….Besides feeling betrayed by Walmart I questioned how a company that champions family could be so cold and heartless when one of its own employees is dealing with a tragedy.
I had to act—no woman should ever be put in that position again. I used my story to speak out and empower other women….”
On the policy front, the Center for Economic Policy and Research is out with a new study on women, working families and unions. The study concludes that “firms with a union presence were 22 percent more likely to allow workers to take parental leave for a new child, 16 percent more likely to allow workers to take medical leave for their own illness, 12 percent more likely to allow workers to take medical leave for pregnancy, and 19 percent more likely to allow workers to take medical leave to care for a family member.” View the full study here
Follow the conversation on social media at #WFSpeakUp and #WorkingFamilies. Or visit the AFL-CIO blog for more stories from working families. http://www.aflcio.org/Blog