On March 17th at the opening of the NEB meeting President Connie Leak outlined some of the challenges we were facing under the GOP/Trump Administration, but that we were up to the task as our convention motto expressed “ Women: Taking It to The Streets” and that is what we would be doing. Since this NEB was the last before our convention in Detroit in September much time was spent by committees planning and making recommendations.
We were pleased to have Donna Edwards, Secretary-Treasurer of the MD and DC AFL-CIO and Carlos Jimenez, Executive Director of the Metro Washington Council, AFL-CIO participate and welcome us to the area.
Congressman Jamie Raskin Addresses CLUW NEB
On March 18 Congressman Jamie Raskin was greeted by CLUW NEB members and observers decked out in their new CLUW t-shirts with the slogan “Can You Hear Us Now?” (see photo above)
He expressed that he was particularly pleased to join us, not only because he respects CLUW but also because the NEB (held at the Tommy Douglas Conference Center in Silver Spring, MD) is in his district. In acknowledging his recent race for the House of Representatives as a first time congressman, he shared that he was outspent 20 – 1 but he had something his opponents did not have, “I had the labor movement on my side.” He urged us to “keep fighting, keep building, keep organizing and it’s a great pleasure to be your ally in Congress”. You can find his complete remarks here.
Diane Babineaux, CLUW Vice President and members of IAM who
expressed their appreciation upon her pending June IAM retirement.
On Tuesday, April 4 – Equal Pay Day, 2017 – CLUW along with women’s, labor, and civil rights advocates will participate in an #EqualPayDay Twitter Storm at 2:00 – 3:00 pm ET to mark the day when the average woman’s pay finally catches up to the average man’s pay from last year. Find tweets below.
On average, women are paid only 80 cents for every $1.00 paid to men. This means that a woman must work more than 15 months to earn what a man earns in 12 months. Over a 40-year career, this can cost a woman and her family more than $400,000. Moreover, while Equal Pay Day for women overall is observed on April 4, the Equal Pay Days for different demographics of women come much later in the year because their gap is much wider. The wage gap for moms compared to dads is 71 cents (May 23, 2017). The gap for White women compared to White, non-Hispanic men is 75 cents (May 1, 2017); the gap for African American women is 63 cents (July 31, 2017); the gap for Native American Women is 58 cents (September 25, 2017); the gap for Latinas is 54 cents (November 2, 2017); and for some Asian American women the gap is so wide it takes more than two years to earn what White, non-Hispanic men earn in one year. The cost to these women and their families can be upwards of $1 million over a 40-year career. This is unacceptable, especially in 2017.
Today, April 4th advocates will call on women and men to speak out in favor of meaningful strategies at the local, state, and federal level to close the gender wage gap for all women, beginning with the federal Paycheck Fairness Act being introduced in Congress this week. The Paycheck Fairness Act will bar retaliation against workers who voluntarily discuss or disclose their wages, close loopholes that have allowed employers to pay women less than men for the same work without any important business purpose related to the job, ensure women can receive the same robust remedies for sex-based pay discrimination that are currently available to those subject to discrimination based on race and ethnicity, and prohibit employers from relying on salary history in determining future pay.
Where: In addition to the tweets below we are asking the public to download a photo of themselves with a state-specific sign -- “Another [INSERT State]ian for Equal Pay” -- and share it on social media using #EqualPayDay and including the twitter handle of their local, federal, and or state lawmaker. State-specific graphics and sample tweets, as well as background materials and other shareable graphics, can be found at www.equalpaytoday.org/equalpaydays
- It’s 2017 and U.S. women who work full time are still paid just 80 cents for every $1 paid to men. #wagegap #EqualPayDay
- In 2016, median weekly pay for union women was $232 more than for non-union women. Unions close the wage gap. #EqualPayDay
- In 13 states, Latina women would have to work past age 100 to make up the losses from the lifetime wage gap.http://bit.ly/1MObeTF #EqualPayDay
- The #PaycheckFairnessAct would help close the #wagegap by giving workers stronger tools to combat wage discrimination. #EqualPayDay
- The gender pay gap hurts working families and our national economy. It’s past time for #EqualPay! #EqualPayDay
- Disgraceful! Black women who work full time are paid just 63 cents for every dollar paid to white men. #wagegap #EqualPayDay
What's New at Coalition of Labor Union Women
Thank you to CLUW VP Diane Babineaux, IAM and Tanya Hutchins who produced this video.
On March 16th in spite of Storm Stella 65 dedicated CLUW members from throughout the country participated in a Capitol Hill Lobby Day visiting with US Representatives, Senators and Legislative Staff to let them know what was needed for working women and families. A busload left the Tommy Douglas Conference Center in Silver Spring, MD (where the NEB meeting was scheduled the following day) and greeted local members at the Briefing Session (Lobby Day Flier) which took place at the Capitol Visitor Center. The timing could not be better since the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (the GOP’s American Health Care Act) had been introduced on March 6th and hearings in the Senate on the nomination of Neil Gorsuch for Supreme Court Justice were set to begin on March 20th.
CLUW President Connie Leak welcomed the group encouraging them to continue to “fight for women’s issues.”
Janet Hill, National VP (USW) provided an overview of how much is at stake.
The Healthy Families Act was just introduced the day before by Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D CT) in the House and Sen. Patty Murray (D WA) in the Senate. Rachel Lyons, Sr. Gov’t Affairs Mgr., National Partnership for Women & Families described this short term paid sick leave bill acknowledging that at least 41 million private sector workers in the United States cannot earn a single paid sick day. An estimated 22 million women are affected. Find more information in the CLUW fact sheet here.
Sarah Christopherson, Policy Advocacy Dir., National Women’s Health Network reviewed the GOP’s American Health Care Act that will cause 24 million people to lose health insurance at the same time that it provides an average tax cut of $7 million for the 400 richest families in America. Also women would no longer be able to use this insurance at the highly qualified provider of their choice if that provider is Planned Parenthood, which would be barred from receiving federal funds. Planned Parenthood is often the only provider in rural and other underserved areas. More information can be found here.
CLUW members were galvanized to let their legislators know of their opposition to the “Right to Work” Bill. Cecelie Counts, Legislative Representative, Government Affairs, AFL-CIO reviewed the impact of similar bills in the states where there are lower wages and income, lower rates of health insurance coverage, higher rates of infant mortality and poverty, less investment in education and higher workplace fatalities. See fact sheet here. Read more here.