On the first anniversary of the original Women’s March on Washington events were planned across the nation with a new emphasis on getting out the vote for the 2018 elections. In support of these goals CLUW members once again took to the streets as part of a grand show of women’s power and readiness to create change through political engagement.
At the rally before the march in the nation's capital President Elise Bryant, as one of the guest speakers, began her address with excerpts from "I am a Union Woman" singing “I am a union woman. Just as ‘strong’ as I can be. I do not like the bosses. And the bosses don't like me”. She challenged the crowd with, "A woman's place is in her union. And let me add to that … a woman’s place is in the White House and we are coming for it!” Be sure to view her full rallying cry by watching the video above.
In addition to Washington, DC CLUW delegations marched with their communities throughout the country. Millie Hall, president of the Metro-Detroit chapter spoke of how chapter members made it their mission at the Lansing March to “stand up, speak up, stand behind and support our UAW sister Cindy Garcia, whose husband was deported to Mexico after living in the United States for 30 years.” Stating that “this is our moment for our voices to be heard.”
In California the secretary of the LA CLUW Chapter, Analisa Swan shared that she marched “in support of LGTBQIA+ equality, civil rights, DREAMERS, women, POC, immigrants, access to healthcare”. While over in Louisville, KY Derby-City Chapter President Vanda Moore said “the women brought the fire with their words” and PA State Vice President Koren Parker called the Philadelphia event a “total success” and was inspired by the “overwhelming amount of young activists.” Read more here.
The final months of 2017 have brought mass national attention to an issue which has plagued working women for decades, that of workplace sexual harassment and assault that has come to be known as the #MeToo movement. Last night (January 7) the #TimesUP initiative gained notoriety at the Golden Globes Award telecast. Activists such as Sara Jayaraman, Restaurant Opportunities Centers United President and a speaker at CLUW’s recent Convention and Ai-jen Poo, the director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance were invited guests, broadening the conversation to the large number of industries where women are subjected to this type of workplace violence. The Time's Up Legal Defense Fund (administered by the National Women’s Law Center) will provide financial support for legal representation and public relations services for some individuals experiencing workplace sexual harassment or related retaliation.
Sexual harassment is an expression of power and CLUW is committed to putting our collective power to fight for real and measureable progress.
CLUW’s Adopted Convention Resolution No. 17 states, “the workplace can be a critical place for responding to gender based violence and building systems that protect survivors of abuse.” Unfortunately most workplaces are not living up to the standard we demand. However, thanks largely to the brave women across industries who have been coming forward to boldly share their stories and seek justice, we could be in the middle of a welcome culture shift. With TIME magazine awarding “The Silence Breakers” its Person of The Year Award, profiling several determined union women in the process, the time is clearly ripe.
In an article by the Washington Post, Sara Nelson, International President of the Association of Flight Attendants who spoke at the 19th Biennial CLUW Convention, was asked along with fifteen other leading women in different industries to share what she thought was the most important next step towards ending the harassment in her field. She pointed out, “The most effective thing that could be done now is a series of public service announcements from airline chief executives. It would be powerful to hear these men clearly and forcefully denounce the past objectification of flight attendants, reinforce our safety role as aviation’s first responders and pledge zero tolerance of sexual harassment and sexual assault at the airlines." Read more here.
Every year annual reports are required to be completed by CLUW chapter and state officers by March 31, 2018 in order to be in compliance with the CLUW Constitution. The report booklet can be accessed and completed online by following the instructions under the Member Resources tab (CLUW Annual Report) on the right hand column of this website. In order to access Member Resources you must register to become a website member (Register here).
You must be a CLUW dues paying member in good standing to qualify. Dues renewal information is posted on the website under the Membership tab with online and hard copy application download available.
All CLUW chartered Chapters will be holding elections for officers, board members, chapter National Executive Board delegate(s) and trustees by no later than March 31, 2018. In order to vote in these elections or run for office you must be a member in good standing of both national CLUW and your chapter. If you are unsure of your national membership status you may contact Jaida Curtis, Special Assistant to the President at email@example.com or at 202-637-3901. Please consult with your chapter president or treasurer for your chapter membership information. The list of current chapters can be viewed here.
You can join or renew CLUW online or thru mail-in application by referring to the website:
To check out the provisions governing elections please refer to the CLUW Constitution: Membership Article IV, Elections Article XI and Chapters Article XIII. The latest version of the constitution is available online under Members Resources on the right hand column of the website. You must register to become a website member (see login right above the membership icon) and must be a dues paying member in good standing to qualify.
What's New at Coalition of Labor Union Women
As the Republican Tax Bill was being put to vote in the Senate last week, efforts by organizations and activists to reveal the dangerous nature of this bill and stop it from passing were put into high gear. CLUW members contacted their Senators and rallied in Washington, DC and elsewhere expressing their opposition. The 24-hour People’s Filibuster held on Thursday Nov 30th and Friday Dec 1st organized by the Americans for Tax Fairness (CLUW is a supporter) rallied directly behind the US Capitol only a few hundred feet from the room in which Senators would be casting their votes.
On Friday at 11:00 am the day’s rally opened with a rendition of Bob Marley’s “Get Up, Stand Up” covered by the Grammy-nominated singer Wayna who engaged the crowd to sing along with the rousing chorus.
Karen Rice, a representative from the Georgetown Alliance for Graduate Employees, (American Federation of Teachers), described how the bill’s Grad Student Tax would treat currently tax-exempt graduate student’s tuition waivers as if they were a part of a student’s taxable income. This addition would raise taxes for most grad students by prohibitive margins, cutting off access to starting or finishing postgraduate education for so many students.
Other organizations who participated were Not One Penny, Planned Parenthood, Communications Workers of America, the Feminist Majority, the National Women’s Law Center, National Partnership for Women and Families, Center for American Progress, and Justice in Aging among others.
Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky of Illinois took time to step out of the Capitol Building to thank the organizers and praised those present for their drive against this bill, which she described as a “trillion dollar disaster in every way” and urged the crowd to keep up their energy and continue putting on the pressure.
Unfortunately, despite activists’ best efforts, the Senate Bill passed in the early hours of Saturday morning moving Congress into a period of reconciliation between the House and Senate versions which is currently underway at the time of writing. CLUW President Elise Bryant commented that, “The bill is a gift to Republican wealthy donors and corporations, leaving middle and low-income women and families to suffer. Medicare will be cut by $25 billion, 13 million people will be without health coverage, the deficit will be raised to disastrous levels, just to name some of the impact.” Moving into this critical time CLUW will continue to organize for the needs of working women and stand in opposition to policy which harms our communities and endangers the well-being of our country and economy. Stay tuned.
Jaida Curtis and Tiana Outram of CLUW’s National Office at the 24-hour People’s Filibuster
Heather Booth, civil rights activist, speaks before some of the rally participants