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Customer Service Week - Focus on Saving FMLA

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During CWA Customer Service Professionals Week this year, October 3-7, locals will be mobilizing in the workplace to fight attempts by the corporate lobby and the Bush Labor Department to curtail protections of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and other business groups are calling for changes in the law to limit FMLA leave to conditions that last 10 days or more. Current law defines a "serious health condition" as one that requires more than three consecutive days of treatment and recovery.

Corporate America also is pushing for changes that could force workers to take leave for no less than a half-day at a time, which would force many workers to take unnecessary leave without pay.

In customer service offices, CWA will be circulating petitions telling the administration and Congress to keep vital FMLA protections in place. The petitions will be pulled together into a massive e-mail action message to government officials.

Since the FMLA was passed 12 years ago, it has benefited more than 50 million workers who have coped with serious illnesses or had to care for family members during a medical crisis, protecting them from job loss.