As 2018 begins we mark the one year anniversary of the electrifying Women’s March on Washington and its numerous sister marches that filled streets across the globe. This year anniversary events have been planned for the upcoming “Weekend of Women” from Friday, Jan 19 to Sunday, Jan 21 as another show of force of our collective power in the fight for women's equality.
Marches, rallies, voter registration drives, and more are happening all across the country and at this year’s local DC sister march CLUW president, Elise Bryant, has been invited to represent union women as a speaker. A CLUW contingent will be there for the program and then will march to the White House along with our allies. Click here to find out more details and where to meet up and join us.
Regardless of where you are located we urge you to view the anniversary events happening in your area and connect with your local CLUW chapter to make CLUW’s presence visible in the New Year. Make sure to register or RSVP online for the event you will be attending.
The weekend’s events will officially culminate in Las Vegas, Nevada on Sun, Jan. 21st for the "Women’s March: Power to the Polls". A yearlong voter registration tour aimed at registering new voters and engaging communities to harness their collective power in supporting more women and progressive candidates to run for office is planned. If you are in the Las Vegas area visit Power to the Polls for more information.
In 2017 CLUW was incredibly involved in Women's March events throughout the country (see website post and photos) and this year will be no different. From DC to Las Vegas let’s continue to “take it to the streets!”
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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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