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tv   To the Contrary With Bonnie Erbe  WHUT  November 14, 2013 9:00am-9:30am EST

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enacting may clear you didn't show coercion. needn't show fraud. you simply have to show the position of the trafficker relative to the position of the modern day slave. that means that most girls those that are underage are going to be treated differently they even were not. they were seen as prostitutes. they too were asked questions like, well, did you go with him? well, yes, she went with him. she went of her own consent under 18 with him. that's the kind of thing that is being wiped off the books today. >> i think some of the legal changes certainly the name changing can be a good thing in terms of raising awareness but still seems like best thing that can be done is talk to children. to talk to more -- because not always children who you think are going to be at risk. i read numerous stories of the upper middle class young women who everyone thought was the lacrosse player, next thing you
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know she's involved. because they cross state lines. children get moved between things and there is underreporting of what is happening. the more that we have an open conversation about it i think it's healthy. >> should all states pass safe harbor laws which means to treat young women who are prostituted against their will, whether they're taken literally as slaves and stuck april room somewhere and taken away from their families or asn some cases living at home and being trafficked should all states treat the young girls as the target as opposed to -- treat the men as the perpetrators. >> absolutely. safe harbor laws go a long way toward raising awareness i think someone point this out i think if we can have a shift from seeing the young woman as choosing this, there is sort of implicit, i was one of those young women that was locked in a
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room, men were brought in to me. and finally i escaped because the slaver was dying in his bed from a knife wound. one of the other women let me out. but i think that if there was a shift in safe harbor laws which help move perception but also a shift to see this less as young woman decided to do this. and more as even if it doesn't seem that it's against her will, aka living at home, there's a level of coercion, there's a level of fear, there's a level of almost brainwashing that goes on with this that really prevents the crime from being detected and prevented from being -- i don't know what the right word is, fixed. but i think that's what is underneath. >> i want to go back to laws and how this criminal justice system needs to be reformed. i agree this is not a federal issue entirely but state and local government do what they can do i think it's a great move
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by virginia g.o.p. attorney general candidate mark obenshane is -- in his state, let's attack this problem, bring light to it i think different state officials like this need to do things like. that they need to unveil plans not just one law is going to fix this, not just one action but multitude of things. >> this new focus on imprisoning the buyers is that going to work? is that -- they -- used to call prostitution, now trafficking, the oldest -- most part trafficking, the oldest profession -- >> why in the world did this begin with putting the women in jail and not the men. if you really wanted to take care of this problem, it would go away. >> do you think -- >> my goodness. it's hardener you talk about prostitution in the street.
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but traffickers, my heavens, use the women to get to the traffickers, just as you use somebody who was on small amounts of drugs to get to the real villain in the piece. >> you light on it? it seems like in the last -- >> if sail tate ors -- cannot forget that. you talked about under the -- under the wire as it were. this is going on where nobody can see it. and how are we going to get hold
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of this when you have worldwide internet i'm not sure. >> unintended consequences of using the word trafficking that it may make people think is a problem overseas. not right here in your back yard prostitution something that we do talk about in this country, maybe the more familiar something to consider. >> all right. let us know what you think. please follow me on twitter @bonnieerbe. from sex trafficking to women in the military. this veteran's day, sexual assault continues to be a problem in the military, but the risk is apparently not stopping women from joining. all four branches of the military say recruitment remains steady and women are signing up. it's hard to tell how sexual assault figures into women's decisions when they enlist. the economic benefits of a military career are very appealing in a sluggish economy. and the services run very
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effective recruitment ad campaign. recruiters tout all the advantages of signing up but will only talk about sexual assault when asked. critics say women may not know just what they're signing up for. should recruiters be required to tell women and men, i mean ironically just as much sexual assault against men as there is against women in the military anyway. should they be required to tell recruits, hey, this is happening? >> i'll be honest i'm not sure about. that come from a military family, ex rotc ranger myself, my reaction to that is because of course the reports, increasing reports on military assault has not decreased number of women that choose to enlist. we as women sadly expect nonsense to happen. i think the problem with the military is because it's a government entity and government agency one would hope and assume that it would be more safe and
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controlled environment than other places that women go. so to be honest, bonnie, having just said that i guess they should. >> normally, these are the best advertisers and recruiters in the united states because since beginning of time, normally you should put your best foot forward a lot of sexual harassment going on here, don't you want to join us. having said that the best defense may be an offense. do your normal recruiting, by the way, you may have heard about some sexual harassment that we're dealing with. >> not harass thement, assault. >> but it out there you may have heard in civilian life there's rape and there are things -- the difference is we're the military. it's easier to take care of that in the military because it's part of the command of how a soldier must react, it's not a college campus.
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put it out there as a part of your speel then make sure that even though you're not giving them a schpiel by telling them the whole truth. >> i'll agree to that end. it's important that they bring light to it in some way but don't have to be defensive. we're going to defend ourselves about these accusations, wiggest thing here is that women are resilient, we're strong, i think the biggest thing is that really when you're signing up for something you don't think about the ugly part of it you think i need to do what i need to do. they are still signing up they realize they're not even 100% safe there. >> there is a difference, point of the senator's work in normal civilian life, corporate america if my boss raped me i have hr department, i have something i can go to. the problem in the military is there is no upward. and it's squashed, it's not reported that's really the crux.
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>> it's true. >> i have a friend whose daughter joined the navy last year and is a submariner. i was thinking, i didn't say anything but i was -- that's kind of one of the worst places stuck in a submarine for months at a time. >> i think certain things that you just can't get around. you have gender integrated training, you have young men and women in their late teens, early 20s you have them in confined spaces for long periods of time. we may have to reserve, rethink if this is a good environment for your child or you as an individual there are some real harsh realities we have to talk about. just may not be entirely fixable. >> therefore, what? >> take women out of -- i don't think you have to take women out of combat but women need to give it serious thought. >> i think it is fixable. there are new -- this is new. you would expect that this kids who come out of environment
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let's face it, where a lot of this is tolerated would bring that to the armed forces i think it's fixable, it must be fixed, it's not being fixed fast enough i think senators -- >> i agree. but not at the recruitment level because again that's kind of ugly. i think again, private company wouldn't do that in their recruitment. >> with all the attention focused on women we are missing the fact that 26,000 men were sexually assaulted in 201. >> i thought it was -- 26,000 people -- >> i have heard men. 19,000 in 2010. as much as i'm concerned about how women are faring we have to think about this in terms of assault in general. >> i don't know if all of those are sexual assaults. >> whatever the reported figure is the real figure is higher. i think this is absolutely something that is fixable but it has to be fixed. great example of why we -- drum
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roll -- because it was senator gillebrand got the other senators to join her in this but it needs to be fixed at the federal level. it needs to be enforced because the problem is the military has all these barriers that go on. some of those barriers are important for the military to function well and do its job. it's very fixable but has a lot of work that needs to be done. >> all right. the face of the nation's workforce is changing but laws governing the workforce are mostly static. u.s. senator kirsten gillibrand of new york insists that needs to change. she told "to the contrary" when current policies don't do enough to protect working women the entire economy suffers. >> i'm introducing legislation called the family act. and it's quite simple. it provides for paid family medical leave for all employees that is a safety net that is invested in by all employees over their lifetimes. for less than a cup of coffee a
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week they will provide money into a savings account that will then be used when they need to take their leave. >> gillibrand plans to introduce the family and medical insurance leave act or family act this month as part of her five-point american opportunity agenda. her plan to empower working families and strengthen the middle class includes paid family and medical leave, affordable day care, universal pre-k, equal pay for equal work and raising the minimum wage. >> these are things so common sense and they help women and men and our whole middle class thrive because their families are cared for a new mother has time with her infant or a woman or man who has an aging parent or someone in their family who's gravely ill, has that flexibility to be able to meet the needs of their family for a few months but still not only retain their job but be able to get paid so they can come back ready to work hard and provide for their companies. >> women's rights advocates
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charge workplace policies reflect a 1950's mentality rather than today's reality. more households than ever have two working adults. and women are the sole wage earners in 40% of families with children under the age of 18. gillibrand says new legislation is needed because the 1993 family and medical leave act or fmla is outdated and ineffective in today's workplace. the family act would require employers and employees to contribute 0.2 percent of their salaries up to a little more than four dollars a week. >> i want it to be an earned benefit for all american workers. that will make a difference for all companies and i can tell you that companies like this big and small. small businesses like it because they don't have to create a program. it's gonna already be just like social security. >> workers would receive two-thirds pay for up to 12 weeks of leave. it could be for their own or a
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family member's serious illness, the birth or adoption of a child, or an emergency involving a family member in the military. gillibrand says some large companies have already implemented paid leave plans >> there's many, many forward looking companies that have paid family medical leave. they just think it's an important benefit that they offer their employees because they want productive workers they want a happy workforce they want loyal employees and that's what it actually creates for them. >> as a mother, gillibrand knows firsthand the importance of the family act and as a working professional she has experience drafting similar policy. >> the second law firm i worked for i actually wrote the paid family medical leave policy for them so that members of the firm could have paid leave. it made a huge difference when i had my first child. when i had theo having that few months off to learn how to nurse, to learn how to be a mom, to learn how crazy life is when you have a baby at home it just allowed me to reenter the workforce three months later rested and able and ready to
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begin that lifelong juggle of how to be a good mom and a good worker all at the same time. >> your thoughts sabrina. i have three young children and i work so i understand that there are real needs for women and for men to take time out of the workforce. i don't think that this law is the answer. i don't think that expanding fmla is the answer i think that the better response would come from businesses and from individuals. if in washington we can do things to change the tax policy so that people can better save for themselves. if we can make our health care not tied to our employer so changing the subsidies. these are real tangible things that can be done to give women and men the kind of flexibility they need when they do need to leave the workplace. >> look, let's take an example. let's look at who took advantage of the family -- this is a bill
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that i supported strongly, the family medical and leave act. women already had leave who worked for companies, who were in the upper part of the workforce. it turned up to a thing for the average thing, it didn't do a thing for -- talking about tax laws, what does that do more minimum wage workers. and 40% of the minimum wage workers are women. what about women who are lower even on the tote temp pole who are not minimum wage workers, what about the hundreds of thousands of businesses that don't have any leave policy so that even when you are sick you go to work. this is a problem if for no other reason for human see sake that we have to confront. this is an earned government. this isn't the government putting in the money, not a cent
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of it, it comes out of everybody's paycheck, we can talk about how much it should be but let me -- let me guarantee that you every single individual who works will one day need to take some time off either for themselves or family member. >> you're right on that point. but what concerns me most here is the increased tax burden this puts on our working families. this is putting a burden on the employer and employee. going to take out of everybody's cost. there's no exception for them here. small businesses under 50 employees are not helped by fmla currently p i think the senator's intention was good. i don't have any children but i can tell you this is an issue that will come up for everybody. every family. the intention was good but the tax burden setting up a social security-esque trust fund type thing, where is the long term cool vern see. we're seeing social security right now, where is that? >> if one thing that has changed so much since the original
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passage fmla is value of women to the workplace. women make up nearly 50% of the workforce, majority of women who are working have higher degrees and require higher skills. women are extremely valuable part. we have to remember that businesses when they invest in any employee, men or women, it's an investment in their salaries, in intellectual capital they don't want to see women leaving the workplace. they want to help retain them more and more. we need to remember that businesses are not quite -- these evil corporate entities that are willing to dismiss women. >> wait a minute. i don't think that's what's going on here at all. but if i could, let's provide a little global perspective. we have got the worst track record here of any of our fellow nations in the world. of the developed nations, right? where paid leave just assumed there, now, we don't want to turn in to the next sweden or norway, i get that. >> can i jump in for a second a
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friend of mine from graduate school who is polish that countries that offer paid leave really do need to kind of bribe women to have babies there. they have very low immigration rates, they restrict immigration, they don't have a young workforce. that's why they put these benefits in place. we, with huge levels of immigration have tons of young people ready to go in to the workforce. it's a different problem. >> yes and no. it depends on the country you look at. if you look at germany you're right. they have declining birth rate, hard to get -- >> most of western europe. >> not absolutely totally correct. but i think the importance here if you know as we all agree everyone is going to go through this at some point in their life. last year both my parents got ill, moved in to my home in hospice and both died last year. plus both my daughters got married and i had my first granddaughter. we all know we're going to go through that. that is the absolute definition
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of something where the government should come in and create a program that everyone can benefit from. >> but funded, i think funding model here, as you pointed out is a good one. we each put a little money in so that we can all fund this together because we're all going to go through it. >> she wasn't -- >> but the point -- >> what republican women ought to do, both of these sympathizer, how can we get together make this work. >> all right. we're out of time i'm sorry. that's it for this edition of "to the contrary." please follow me on twitter at bonnie erbe and at to the contrary and visit our website. where the discussion continues. whether you agree or think, to the contrary, please join us next time.
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>> funding for "to the contrary" provided by: the cornell douglas foundation committed to encouraging stewardship of the environment, land conservation, watershed protection and eliminating harmful chemicals. additional funding provided by: the colcom foundation. the wallace genetic foundation the e. rhodes and leona b. carpenter foundation. and by the charles a. frueauff foundation. for a transcript or to see an online version of this episode of "to the contrary" please visit our pbs website at
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- bob scully's world show is brought to you by redline communications. bringing rugged wireless networks where nobody else will go. ♪ - hi, this is bob scully, and welcome to another edition of the world show: entrepreneurs/ the redline series. there are many rankings of major corporations in the business press. there is the fortune 500, the profit 100, the forbes 400, but in canada at least, by far
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the most prestigious is the global leaders list, and they might as well call it the global leaders shortlist - it's pretty hard to get onto it. to get on that list, you have to be one of the top 5 corporations in your sector in the world. one company that was comfortably ensconced there on that pedestal is russel metals, a canadian corporation that's been around since the 18th century, a metals distributor. you don't see the name very often, but it's one of those iceberg companies that performs essential services, unseen from the public, throughout the economy we only see the tip of that iceberg. it's a company that rakes in $3 billion in sales annually, and in 2009, the first quarter, the great recession hit. a brand-new ceo, brian hedges, was suddenly at the helm of this ship, and the perfect storm is about to engulf his ship. the company lost 40% of its revenue in that quarter, in one fell swoop. but the ship did not go down, and here's the captain to tell us how he saved it.
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here's brian hedges. brian hedges, there are some major, major actors in the economy - there's even an index, i think, called canadian global leaders, for those companies that are in the top 5 in their area in the world - major actors that are a little bit like the base of the iceberg. you really take them for granted, you don't see their product or their service, but if they disappeared the next day, we'd all be lost, and that's exactly what russel does, so what do you do? - well, we're very much in the steel industry, and we're making sure that we can get product out to customers on a timely basis, and as time has gone on, there's increasingly large numbers of people that want steel delivered daily every second day, and their on-time delivery window is probably a day, so being in the middle, we're there to provide them with parts or steel that provides that to them. and more and more, the mrp kind of systems are demanding more and more of this, and the mills
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really can't address that, because of volume. - and so it includes every... but it's also metals in general, right? it's not just steel. - yeah, it's all. we're predominately black steel, but yeah, we do everything. - and did i read correctly that there was a mr. russel, and he was in the 18th century in montreal? he was from scotland. this company is over 200 years old. - yeah, he was a dry goods seller in montreal, and then his son archie, in the early 1800s - or, that was late 1800s - moved it into the steel processing, so it does go back to 200 years. - and when we think of distributors, again, it's the kind of thing we overlook, and they're huge; i mean, you're in the billions. we think, therefore, huge, huge warehouses, huge trucks fleets; i mean, everything is huge. yet at the same time, you seem to want to become more nimble, and yourself, you're facilitating just on time, but you want to be like that too, in other words. i think of a distributor as
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a nice, big, full warehouse where they never run out, and that's why you go to them, but that's not the game anymore. - no. inventory turns are a focus of everybody, and certainly we have small warehouses in cities like amos, where we're just dealing with one factory, and then we have the larger facilities in, say, boucherville or in ontario, and hubs. but certainly we're providing the products that are needed in that market. it could be different industries, different factories, mills, mines, whatever we're asked to provide. we're very flexible in our product offerings every location. - and there's even some poetry in the naming of these things. like, there's mild steel, red brass... i mean, i was going through the product lists, and, boy, it sounded, you know, kind of fancy. do you do any marketing for this, or are you just responding to necessity? - it's not a product that gets marketed, 'cause it's such a base industry, it's such a fundamental industry, and