Coalition of Labor Union Women
    • January 29, 2009, President Obama signed into law his first piece of legislation as President, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. This Act came as a direct result of the Ledbetter v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. (2007) case, and amends the Civil Rights Act of 1964, declaring that the 180-day statute of limitations for filing an equal-pay lawsuit regarding pay discrimination resets with each new paycheck affected by that discriminatory action (Lily Ledbetter Act of 2009). The Lilly Ledbetter Act took us one step closer to achieving equal pay. But the gender wage gap still leaves women earning less than their male counterparts, especially white men. We must continue fighting for equal pay!

      In 2008 CLUW featured a special presentation by Lilly Ledbetter at a National Executive Board meeting that took place in Cleveland Ohio.  She is pictured here before her presentation wearing CLUW's button on her lapel.

      Please join the Coalition of Labor Union Women as we celebrate this Act and participate in a tweet storm sponsored by the Fair Pay Coalition:

      Twitter Storm for Ledbetter Anniversary & All Things Equal Pay!

      When: Friday, January 29th, 2:00 to 3:00 PM EST

      Hashtags: #EqualPay; #EqualPayCantWait

      Special Guest: Lilly Ledbetter

      Below are a few sample tweets:

      • The #wagegap has been stagnant for years, but #EqualPayCantWait – we don’t have that kind of time to wait for #EqualPay
      • Latinas have to work for 22 months to earn what white men make in just one year. That's definitely not #EqualPay. #EqualPayCantWait
      • When women spend their careers losing money to the #wagegap, that means less retirement savings. #EqualPay is critical at every age.
      • Black women working full time, year round are typically paid 60¢ for every $1 paid to a white man. #EqualPay

      If you would like to see the gender wage gap in your state click here.

      Today, President Obama is highlighting several actions that his Administration is taking to further advance equal pay for all workers and to further empower working families:
      -The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), in partnership with the Department of Labor, is publishing a proposal to annually collect summary pay data by gender, race, and ethnicity from businesses with 100 or more employees.  The proposal would cover over 63 million employees and will help focus public enforcement of our equal pay laws and provide better insight into discriminatory pay practices across industries and occupations.  
      -The President is renewing his call to Congress to take up and pass the Paycheck Fairness Act, commonsense legislation that would give women additional tools to fight pay discrimination.
      -The Council of Economic Advisers is releasing an issue brief, “The Gender Pay Gap on the Anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act,” that explores the state of the gender wage gap, the factors that influence it, and policies put forward by this Administration that can help address it.  The brief highlights that the U.S. gender wage gap is now 2.5 percentage points larger than the average for industrialized countries.  

      The White House will host a Summit on “The United State of Women” on May 23rd together with the Department of State, the Department of Labor, the Aspen Institute, and Civic Nation.  The summit, which comes nearly two years after the first-ever White House Summit on Working Families, will create an opportunity to mark the progress made on behalf of women and girls domestically and internationally over the course of this Administration and to discuss solutions to the challenges they still face.

      Pictured from the left are NYS Assemb. Pat Fahey, and CLUW Members Holly Clark, Susan Zucker, Pres. Connie Leak, and Kate Mullany Chapter Pres. Liz Moran.

      Latham, NY --  Connie Leak, president of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), the only national organization representing union women, accepted the Kate Mullany medal for its activism from  American Labor Studies Center (ALSC) Director Paul Cole.  The awards reception was held Dec. 8 at the New York State United Teachers building here.  The Irish Trio, Triskele, entertained the audience with music and songs.

      The medal’s namesake was an early female union advocate.  Mullany fought for the right for workers to have safe working conditions, a decent wage and the right to have a union, Cole explained.  The Kate Mullany House is located at 350 Eighth St. in Troy, NY.   It was declared a national historic landmark in 1998 and became a unit of the National Park System in 2004. The house is currently being restored.  "We hope to have a ribbon-cutting next year," Cole said.

      New York State Assemblywoman Patricia Fahy, D-Albany; and Bill Scheuerman, former president of the National Labor College and the United University Professions higher education union for SUNY, were also honored at the reception with Kate Mullany medals.

      You can learn more about Kate Mullany's House here and about the American Labor Studies Center here.

      At its recent Convention, CLUW joined other progressive women’s organizations to take on the “War on Women.”  CLUW directly challenged politicians and campaigns that foster gender discrimination and promote legislation compromising reproductive rights. 

      In her opening remarks, CLUW President Connie Leak, declared, “We are at War! We must be armed and equipped for the battles that lie ahead that women constantly face.” She went on to encourage everyone to “band together and fight against gender discrimination and injustice.” She observed that many of the same people and groups seeking to keep women down also seek to destroy unions. 

      The November 2014 election results made unions especially vulnerable. Many state governments are controlled by politicians who oppose unions  and are already taking advantage of their opportunity, pushing measures to expand non-union charter schools and scale back requirements that public projects pay higher, union-scale wages.  They are the same people pushing to keep People of Color, women and young people from voting by passing unnecessary and unfair Voter I.D. laws.

      As we write this, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association, an attack on working people's freedom to come together and form unions. The current make-up of the court does not bode well for labor or women, who make up a large percentage of public employees. The potential impact of this case underscores the importance of electing a pro-worker, pro-woman president in November! Read more here.

      Washington, DC – Deputy AFL-CIO Political Director Liz McElroy (also a member of CLUW) addressed the National Officers Council, meeting here, in conjunction with the AFL-CIO MLK, Jr. Civil & Human Rights Conference. Her focus was on the 2016 elections, underscoring the importance of not just the Presidential, but all elections up and down the ticket. 

      She noted that in 2014 it seemed that voters were voting for good economic policies like paid sick leave, minimum wage, protection of collective bargaining rights at the ballot box while turning away candidates who supported those same issues. She identified the problem as being that "the connection between our issues and our candidates was lost” and she challenged us as CLUW officers and CLUW members to make that connection whenever possible.

      She finished on an optimistic note, citing the partnerships labor is building with progressive allies to talk about issues that matter and motivate people to action. The AFL-CIO is developing its 2016 program, which CLUW will be working with on with them.

      Please note that we have added a link on the top of the CLUW homepage called "Election 2016” where we will be putting resources that members and chapters will find useful throughout the election cycle. The first piece is already there.  It's Post Great Recession Blues (and then some), a PowerPoint used with Dr. Sylvia A. Allegretto’s Presentation at 2015 CLUW Convention. 

      NOC members pictured above, participated in the AFL-CIO’s “Change the Rules: Working Women’s Strategy Session,” hosted by the AFL-CIO Exec. Council’s Women’s Comm., the day before the NOC meeting.

      CLUW has joined with more than 1,500 labor, environmental, family farm, consumer, women’s, faith and other organizations to defeat the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) - a proposed  pact that would set rules governing approximately 40% of the global economy.

      The pact would make it easier for big corporations to ship jobs overseas, pushing down our wages and increasing income inequity. It would allow our supermarkets to be flooded with unsafe imported food and increase the prices of prescription drugs according to Public Citizen.

      The letter delivered to Congress warns the TPP of additional detrimental impacts in addition to those listed previously. Read the letter here.

      Celeste Drake from the AFL-CIO spoke to the CLUW National Officers Council on January 13 about its opposition to the agreement. She called it “worse than we thought it would be;” observing that it includes “all of the worst parts of previous trade agreements.”

      Below are ways CLUW members can take direct action to defeat TPP:

      1. The campaign to defeat TPP will be hand-delivering the letter to many local district offices from  January 14–24. To take part in one of these events, use these contacts: or call 202.494.8826

      2. Click the PopVox icon listed on the “Action Center” on the right side of the CLUW homepage.  You will find TPP listed and through it, you can directly contact your Members of Congress and let them know of your opposition to the agreement (it will allow you to use a pre-written message or your own).

      What's New at Coalition of Labor Union Women

      10 Foods That Promote Weight Loss

      by Vera Sizensky,

      (Editor’s note:  This article inaugurates the first article of a monthly article service from HealthyWomen.  Each article addresses a topic large numbers of respondents asked for in the CLUW/HealthyWomen 2015 survey. Note that we have added a HealthyWomen link on the top of the homepage.  We will archive these monthly articles here and provide you there with other information/links related to survey preferences.)

      Foods that promote weight loss might seem too good to be true—after all, doesn't nearly everything have calories? But some foods really can help you along your weight loss journey when you choose them over other options.

      Here are 10 to add to your diet in moderation.

      1. Apples

      Research has shown that eating a fiber-filled apple before a meal can fill you up so you eat fewer calories. They're also great at balancing blood sugar, which can help you make better snacking decisions because you won't be desperate to get something in your belly quickly.  (Photo credit "D Sharon Pruitt")

      2. Brown rice

      Much better for you than its white counterpart, brown rice has resistant starch, which is a healthy carb that helps boost metabolism and burn fat. It's also very filling without tons of calories.

      3. Eggs

      Eat the whole thing, not just the whites. An egg's filling protein stimulates a fat-burning hormone that helps stave off belly fat.  Read more here.

  • February 06, 2016
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