This is my recently published article in the newspaper.
Linda Vanaman is right, “Equal pay for women should
concern us all” (DJ-4/9) and I support her position.
While we fight for a living wage, we find $20 million
readily available for casino welfare and $25 million
for racetrack welfare, but nothing for the people.
Women are still paid less than men — even when we
have similar education, skills and experience.
In 1999, women were paid 72 cents for every dollar men
received. That’s $28 less to spend on groceries,
housing, childcare and other expenses for every $100
worth of work they perform. Nationwide, working
families lose $200 billion of income annually to the
It’s not like women get charged less for rent.
mortgages, food or utilities. In fact, they pay more
for things like hair styling, dry cleaning, uniforms
and work apparel.
Over a lifetime of work, the 28 cents-on-the-dollar
they are losing adds up. The average 25-year-old
working woman will lose more than $523,000 in pay
during her working life.
And because they are paid less, women have less to
save for their futures and we’ll earn smaller pensions
than men will. Half of all older women receiving a
private pension in 1998 got less than $3,486 per year,
compared with $7,020 per year for older men. Even my
mother gets a paltry some from my father’s union
pension and seniors a smaller Social Security check.
Equal pay isn’t just a women’s issue. Sixty-four
percent of working women in the AFL-CIO said they
provide half or more of their family’s income. When
women get equal pay, their family incomes rise and the
whole family benefits. Equal pay helps men, too. The
millions of men who work in predominately female
occupations lose an average of $6,259 each year,
according to Equal Pay for Working Families: National
and State Data on the Pay Gap and Its Costs. The 25.6
million women in these jobs lose an average of $3,446
On International Women’s Day on March 8, the first
Global Women’s Strike was held and women staged
strikes and other actions demanding pay equity and an
end to poverty.
The campaign, initiated by the International Wages for
Housework Campaign, saw women in at least 60 countries
demand wages for paid maternity leave, protection from
violence, abolition of Third World debt, clean water
and non-polluting technology and affordable housing
Workers of the World United to welcome the Rozzo
Campaign, as I distributed literature in Spanish and
English. As I hit three functions a day everday till
election day, the workers went for thw workers
$12 to $15 minimum wage really sings to people, along
with workers rights and 6 weeks paid vacation.
There seems to be too much of a war on social needs
from the two-party system. We need to change that this
Freedom in America? Freedom to work in sweatshops,
where abuses and exploitation happen in inhumane ways.
How about the freedom to work for Wal-Mart, which has
closed its only union store?
The anti-sweatshop message was front and center in Seattle
last week as 50,000 people gathered to protest the
unfair trade policies of the World Trade Organization.
Teamsters’ union members carried signs that said: “Tell the
WTO, No Child Labor,” while Sierra Club members chanted “No
The success of the Seattle protests highlights the growing power of a new coalition of unions, environmental organizations and student groups demanding tough global standards.
I my time, I have tried to Unionize factories containing mostly female sweatshop workers. I took on abusiveness bosses who abused their workers and created a hostile work environment. These ladies brought home low pay for long hours in hot dusty work conditions.
Many women suffer from asthma and or brown lung disease since the bosses did not allow face masks to protect the safety of the workers.
Sad to say the Union had done such a bad job representing workers the Amalgamated Clothing and Textile Workers Union was voted out.
Women today continue to be victimized by the system.
According the the AFL-CIO the United States, a woman makes only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. The majority of minimum wage and tipped workers are women. Nearly 40 million workers don’t have a single paid sick day. And here’s just one more incredible stat about women in our country: The U.S. has paid maternity and parental benefits similar to Swaziland, Lesotho and Papua New Guinea. That is to say, zilch.
Today, as we celebrate International Women’s Day, I can’t help but think of inequality and all the work we have to do for women workers. Yes, we’ve made strides and we should celebrate those, but when it comes to basic necessities for women to make a living for themselves and their families, we are falling short. The United States ranks 23rd globally in gender equality. We’re also ranked 17th among 22 industrialized countries in terms of labor force participation for women (we were sixth in the ’90s.) And we’re supposed to be a nation that leads on fairness and opportunity.