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We hear a lot (and talk a lot here on Belabored) about the decline of stable jobs for working-class people, the collapse of manufacturing in the United States, the casualization of work, and the hollowing-out of the middle class. But what do those workplace changes mean for the working-class family? We ask Andrew Cherlin, Johns Hopkins University sociologist and author of a new book, Labor’s Love Lost, that looks at the rise and fall of the nuclear family in America, our cultural longing for the “Leave it to Beaver” ideal, and how the workplace shapes our family life.
In our news roundup, we look at Obama’s workplace proposals in the State of the Union (and whether they’re likely to go anywhere), the “Reclaim MLK” actions on Martin Luther King Day weekend, and the latest attack on the rights and work of home care workers. We also hear from Vermonters who are not willing to let single-payer healthcare go without a fight. And for “Argh” we discuss striking mental health care workers under the Affordable Care Act, and ask who Haiti’s so-called “recovery,” years after its devastating earthquake, is serving.
Sarah: The Sick Leave Policy Democrats Needed in November (The Week)
Michelle: Walmart’s Pregnancy Policy May Make You Sick (The Nation)
Can the U.S. Ever Fix Its Messed-Up Maternity Leave System? (Bloomberg Businessweek)
Michelle: Judge Rules That Home Care Workers Are Really Just ‘Companions’ (The Nation)
Healthcare is a Human Right Campaign Open Letter Calling Legislators to Action (Vermont Workers’ Center)
Andrew Cherlin: The Real Reason Richer People Marry (The New York Times)
Michelle: America’s Workplaces Are Hostile to Families’ (The Nation)
Argh, I Wish I’d Written That!
Sarah: Sam P. K. Collins, Meet The Mental Health Care Workers On The Front Lines Of A Statewide Strike (ThinkProgress)
Michelle: Nixon Boumba, It’s been five years since Haiti’s earthquake. And the ‘redevelopment’ hasn’t been about helping Haitians. (The Washington Post)