Legislators Urge Chao to Reconsider Eliminating Women'sBureau Offices

A group of 69 legislators sent a letter to Labor Secretary Elaine Chao, urging her to reconsider eliminating the regional offices for the Women's Bureau.

A bipartisan group of 69 members of the U.S. House of Representatives sent a letter to Secretary Elaine Chao, urging the Department of Labor to reconsider its decision to eliminate regional offices for the Women''s Bureau.

Congresswoman Rosa L. DeLauro (D-Conn.) learned of the department''s decision through women''s advocacy organizations and decided to organize the letter to Chao.

"Regional offices have provided specialized information about community training programs and work supports to help low-income and low-skilled women find the help they need," the lawmakers wrote. "Through workshops, conferences, partnerships with local organizations, and other types of outreach, these offices address sexual harassment and other forms of workplace discrimination based on sex, domestic violence, child care, and other pressing concerns of women in the labor force today."

Since its creation in the 1920s, through both Democratic and Republican administrations, the Women''s Bureau has carried out its mission of promoting the welfare of working women, improving their working conditions, increasing their efficiency, and advancing their opportunities for profitable employment. The 10 Women''s Bureau Regional Offices play a crucial role in ensuring that this mission is carried out effectively at the local level, according to DeLauro.

"We are particularly concerned that the elimination of the Women''s Bureau Regional Offices, coming not long after the Department eliminated the Equal Pay Matters Initiative, is sending an unfortunate signal that the Administration is placing a low priority on the concerns of working women," the lawmakers concluded. "We urge you to vigorously support the Women''s Bureau Regional Offices and the critical work they do for America''s working women."

See related article "Bush Considers Closing Women''s Bureau Offices, Repeals Contractor Rules."

by Sandy Smith ([email protected])

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