March 15th is Women’s Equal Pay Day
March 15th this year marks the day by when a women (on average) will catch up to what a man made in 2021. If you look at a typical 9:00-5:00 work day, it would be as if women started working for free at 2:40 p.m. every day. 83 Cents—that’s how much women in the U.S. who work full-time, year round, are paid for every dollar paid to men (https://www.equalpaytoday.org/equal-pay-day-2022).
Want Equal Pay? Get a Union. According to a recent article by Wendy Chun-Hoon, Director of the Women’s Bureau at the U.S. Department of Labor and Liz Shuler, President of the AFL-CIO, being represented by a union reduces women’s wage gap by nearly 40 percent compared to the pay gap experienced by non-union women. For Black and Latina women, the union advantage is even greater. This translates into hundreds of thousands of additional dollars in union women’s pockets over the course of their careers (Chun-Hoo & Shuler).
Having a union contract helps with pay equity in large part because of the transparency and equality it provides. Collective bargaining agreements apply to all workers regardless of their gender or race. Union members feel more comfortable to speak out about disparities because of the support of their union.
In order to ensure equal pay across the board, the Biden-Harris administration established the White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment to find ways that federal government agencies can use their authority to support the formation of unions. The task force just released its first report, containing nearly 70 recommendations. At the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau, efforts are being made to find ways to get information about organizing and bargaining rights into the hands of more workers, so more working women will know about opportunities they have to form a union. There will also be a focus on working with other agencies on a Unions and Collective Bargaining Resource Center, so more workers will have information about the many ways having a union can improve their lives (Chun-Hoo &Shuler).
Now is the time to act. Encourage the women in your lives to get a union!
Wendy Chun-Hoon, Liz Shuler, Filed in Women Equal Pay Unions White House Task Force on Worker Organizing and Empowerment, February 15, 2022, retrieved from: https://blog.dol.gov/2022/02/15/want-equal-pay-get-a-union
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