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August 20, 2014

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CLUW Applauds the AFL-CIO in Denouncing the Supreme Court’s Decision Harming Women’s Health and Worker Rights

Washington, DC (July 31, 2014)  - Today the AFL-CIO Executive Council unanimously passed a statement on “Hobby Lobby: Yet Another Supreme Court Decision That Harms Women's Health and Threatens Worker Rights” that states…” The Hobby Lobby ruling is a major blow in the struggle for women’s health and threatens the Affordable Care Act’s goal of ensuring that all working families have access to cost-effective preventive health care. By allowing the owners of companies to pick and choose which provisions of the law they will follow, the Supreme Court’s ruling undermines workers’ rights and, in particular, will make it much more difficult for women to get access to the care they need.  The decision also raises the specter of employers arguing that religious objections should override their responsibilities under minimum wage, civil rights, and other workplace laws.”… The full statement can be found here.

Elizabeth Shuler, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer commented on the issue, “The Hobby Lobby decision puts a sharp point on a string of recent Supreme Court rulings that undermine women’s health and threaten workers.  And it even takes things one step further – allowing corporations to assert religious freedom claims.  In this case that means working women are denied contraception as part of their health plans.  But the ruling also raises the specter that the same religious freedom argument could be used to gut minimum wage, civil rights, and other workplace protections.”

CLUW President Connie Leak, a member of the AFL-CIO’s Committee on Women Workers that drafted the statement had issued one on behalf of CLUW a few weeks ago that included, “We hope American voters remember these court decisions when it comes to voting in federal elections, as it is the President who appoints these justices and the Senate that confirms them.”

APWU President Mark Dimondstein who introduced language to strengthen the AFL-CIO’s statement today by referencing additional Supreme Court rulings commented, “All three of the Supreme Court decisions (Hobby Lobby, Harris and Noel Canning) are an attack on working class women. The attack on women’s rights in the workplace must be viewed as an attack on the rights of all workers.”
Dolores Gorczyca, CLUW Executive Vice President who attended the meeting,” was very pleased with the response of the Executive Council and the inclusion of the expanded language.”
 
This is not a new issue.  In January 2012 President Obama announced his decision to implement a provision of the Affordable Care Act that requires health plans to cover preventive services, including contraceptives without co-payments or deductibles and immediately the backlash started.
 
CLUW has been a strong advocate in recognizing women’s health care decisions as being a right and not a privilege. Many of those in Congress who are trying to strip away those rights are the same persons who want to deny workers a voice at work.  If ever there was a time to mobilize and vote – it is now!!

YOUR VOTE – IT’S YOUR RIGHT – NOT A PRIVILEGE!!
By Connie Leak President, Coalition of Labor Union Women Press Associates, Inc. Labor Day issue This Labor Day, your vote is critical to your future as never before.  And for working women the results of the November 2014 election will determine much about your life on and off the job.
Read More...
Minimum Wage Workers Pay Cut Clock

September NEB Meeting

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Ohio CLUW State President Election

Congratulations to the new Ohio State CLUW President, Brenda Davis (UAW).

CLUW Helps Train Next Generation of Union Women
 A popular button often seen at labor rallies and conferences reads, “A woman's place is in her union.” And as young activists go, Cody Beltrami is one member living out that sentiment.
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Ruby Anniversary: CLUW Returns to Chicago to Celebrate 40 Years of Progress, Activism

In March 1974, 3,200 women union members gathered in Chicago to address issues affecting all women in the workplace.  Their slogan, “We didn’t come here to swap recipes” made it perfectly clear that they were serious and they were in it for the long haul.

The result of their efforts was the creation of a grassroots national organization: The Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW). 

On March 27, 2014, more than 400 union members and other working women re-convened in the city where it all began – this time to celebrate 40 years of activism and CLUW’s founders, as well as its current activists.  Read more

"Celebrating our Past…Securing Our Future" Through Education


Scholarship Winners with President Connie Leak

The CLUW National Officers Council made sure that CLUW members had the necessary tools for “Securing our Future” (the second part of the 40th Anniversary celebration theme) by holding a leadership education conference that began the same day as the celebration. 

CLUW National President Connie Leak, who opened the plenary explained, “We want to empower women to take on leadership roles.  The vast amount of knowledge and experience each class provides will give inspiration to the new and upcoming leaders. We can all agree that when women succeed, women lead!”

She noted that sessions were designed to give union women skills so they can play a prominent role in their unions and their communities. Participants who completed the required number of sessions received a CLUW Certificate of Completion.”

The training offered tracks of six hours each.  They included: Public Speaking, Leadership, Community Partnership/Engagement, Political and Legislative Action. Additionally, participants were able to select among 14 individual workshops on a wide variety of subjects – many of which were run twice. 

The three-day conference attracted more than 200 CLUW women (and new members who came and joined) from throughout the country.  Read more.

Labor is Largest Delegation at White House Working Families Summit: CLUW Plays Active Role in Pre-Summit ‘Speak Up!’ Event
More than 1,000 people were in attendance at the White House Summit on Working Families on June 23, which was convened to start an important conversation about issues affecting working families:  accessing good jobs, raising the minimum wage, creating flexible schedules, securing paid family leave, providing quality affordable child care.

The 250 representatives from organized labor and worker centers made up the largest delegation there – which was obvious every time someone on the stage or at a mike said the word “union” or “collective bargaining.”

The day before, labor/work center delegates gathered at the AFL-CIO headquarters for a Labor Speak Up!” event that provided an opportunity for delegates to share their stories both formally and informally about work and work-life issues and the value of a union and a collective bargaining agreement –especially for women and families. 

See photo below of CLUW Delegation.  Read more by clicking here.

White House Summit Focuses on Issues Important to Working Women and Families

The 250+ union delegation (out of 1,000 in attendance) was the biggest delegation at Monday’s White House Summit.  This fact was obvious each time reference was made to unions or collective bargaining . The “official” CLUW delegation was small, due to limited tickets available, however, there were many CLUW members in attendance, representing their respective union. Here is a photo of the CLUW delegation. From the left, front – Vice Pres. Elisa Riordan (CWA), Vice Pres. Carolyn J. Williams (IBEW), Membership Coord. Karen See (APWU);  back row -- Exec. Vice Pres. Dolores Gorczyca (IFPTE), CLUW Pres. Connie Leak (UAW), Vice Pres. Sarah Reynolds (ATU), Special Asst. to the Pres. Carolyn Jacobson (UAW). Read more by clicking here.

Tipped Workers: Get the Facts
"Next Generation of IBEW Organizing" Features CLUW Women

This video entitled the "Next Generation of IBEW Organizing" shows the Youth Movement within IBEW Local 1245, in California. 

All of the women in this video are active members of the Central California Chapter of CLUW.  One of the members is Donchele Soper who was one of the participants in the Young Workers Panel at the 2013 CLUW Convention in Reno, Nevada. 


What's New
Coalition of Labor Union Women's Pres. Connie Leak Condemns 2 Supreme Court Decisions as Detrimental to Working Women
The U.S. Supreme Court on June 30 struck two forceful blows to America’s workers in their rulings Harris v. Quinn and the “Hobby Lobby” case. In Harris v. Quinn, the justices said that workers cannot be required to either  become dues-paying members of the union or to pay their “fair share” of dues that cover the costs of collective bargaining. Read More...
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