Coalition of Labor Union Women

    • l-r: LizMcElroy, Connie Leak, Terry O'Neill, Rachel Lyons and Judy Beard

      CLUW’s Conference: ” Where Do We Go From Here: The Path Continues” had been in formation for months but who knew what to expect after the recent election results? We were thrilled when 225 conference attendees and subject matter experts arrived in Las Vegas for 3 days (November 14-16) of empowerment, hands on education, skills building, election analysis, grappling with issues confronting women and making plans for the future. 

      The opening plenary started with a welcome from President Connie Leak followed by a warm greeting from Rusty McAllister, Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Nevada State AFL-CIO who informed us that there were about 525 full time staff in Nevada from labor and about ½ million doors were knocked to get out the vote. To address the “2016 Elections and Mobilizing for the Future” we heard from a trio who are well versed in the issues of labor and working women: Liz McElroy, Deputy Political Department Director, AFL-CIO; Rachel Lyons, Sr. Government Affairs Mgr., National Partnership for Women & Families and Terry O’Neill, President, National Organization for Women. Liz confirmed that while union members voted for Hillary it was not in the numbers that were needed.  Clinton received 8 1/2 million less votes than Obama and ‘we underestimated the role that sexism played in the election’. However, there were successes in the Senate: Kamala Harris-CA, Tammy Duckworth- IL, Maggie Hassan, NH and Catherine Cortez Masto- NV.  Rachel continued by acknowledging that the momentum for issue based work for working families: equal pay, paid family leave and combatting pregnancy discrimination remain strong and our stalwarts: Representatives DeLauro and Pelosi and Senator Gillibrand will be there to take up the torch. She went on to say that we have made progress on paid leave in the states and will continue to battle in that arena. Terry took the podium and expressed her apologies for the 53% of white women that voted for Trump but congratulated the 94% of Black women who voted for Hillary and supported her platform.  She reminded us that Hillary was a pro-choice feminist who garnered over 2 million more of the popular vote over Trump. She brought the house to their feet with a rousing “No, we won’t go back!” Read more here.


      Some of the young people who attended the Conference.

      On 11/15/16 conference attendees participated in the CLUW Mannequin Challenge.


      President Connie Leak reports to the delegates (pictured along with some of the National Officers Council)

      One hundred and twenty CLUW activists from throughout the country met at the Tropicana Las Vegas hotel only days after the 2016 election to plan, strategize and mobilize for the year ahead. President Connie Leak in her report to the delegates acknowledged that she had hoped the election results would have been different, but that did not change our resolve.  “As women we know what it means to struggle and no matter what the future may bring we will work to make life better for working women. That is our mission. That is what we will do.”  She received a standing ovation when she asked the crowd if they were “with her”.

      Part of this strategy involves growing CLUW and 2 new chapters received charters at the meeting – see photos for more information. Debra Berko, Secretary-Treasurer of the Southern Nevada CLC brought greetings and updated us on election victories in her state.  See information here.

      Twenty-three committees met to map out plans for the future in areas such as electoral organizing (recognizing the importance of senate races in 2018), community partnership, legislative/political action (fighting right to work legislation in the states) and immigration and its impact on women and families, for example.  Read more here.


      Maggie Cook (Pres. Of LA CLUW Chapter) seated accepts charter for CLUW of Orange County chapter. Behind her are Pres. Leak, Treasurer Judy Beard and Renee James.

      American Diabetes Month

      Diabetes: What You Need to Know

      (Editor's note: This is the latest article in the monthly service provided by CLUW 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 are archiving previous 2016 articles there.)

      Diabetes is a chronic condition in which the body produces too little insulin or can't use available insulin efficiently. Insulin is a hormone vital to helping the body use digested food for growth and energy.

      An estimated 25.8 million people in the United States, or approximately 8.3% of the population, have diabetes. In 2010, about 1.9 million people age 20 or older were diagnosed, according to the American Diabetes Association (ADA).

      You are at higher risk for developing type 2 diabetes if you are overweight, don't exercise, are over 45, or have close relatives with diabetes, especially type 2 diabetes. Higher-risk ethnic groups include African American, Latino/Hispanic, Native American, Alaska Native, Asians and Pacific Islanders. Native Americans and Alaska Natives are at more than twice the risk of Caucasians for developing type 2 diabetes.

      Although diabetes is a potentially life-threatening condition, people with well-managed diabetes can expect to live healthy lives. Read more here.

      Together, the Labor Coalition for Community Action, which includes the A. Phillip Randolph Institute, the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, the Coalition of Labor Union Women, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, and Pride at Work, rises in solidarity with Native Americans and our allies in protesting against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) and defending Native lands from exploitation by corporations and the U.S. government. We advocate for a progressive labor movement rooted in dignity and respect of all peoples, including Native Americans and their families. See full press release here.


      2016 Midwestern Summer School Attendees

      Thanks to scholarships provided by the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), four (4) CLUW members were able to participate in the United Association for Labor Education (UALE) 2016 Women’s Summer Schools. Each sister took part in workshops covering a range of topics including Common Sense Economics, FMLA, Sexual Harassment and the Rights a Worker Has, and Storytelling and Public Speaking. Throughout the Summer Schools was a common goal: to educate women on the rich history of the labor movement in the cities where the schools were held, and to highlight some female pioneers of the movement.

      Reports received from scholarship recipients highlighted how grateful they were to CLUW as they shared their experiences. Each award recipient got a chance to speak on CLUW before the attendees at their respective school.

      “I felt empowered,” said Michelle Kutchinsky of the Northeast Summer School. “I got up in front of the room and spoke about CLUW within the first half-hour of the conference to a room of about 200 strangers.”

      At the Midwest Summer School, after a speech by CLUW Chicago Chapter President Katie Jordan about the history of CLUW and the important roles this organization has played in getting legislative laws passed that help support working women and their families, scholarship recipients Sherron Molina and Robin Robertson were also able to speak on behalf of CLUW about their scholarships. Breaking the ice with such topics set the stage for the days of learning ahead.

      Over the course of the three days, the attendees felt a sense of comradery; they networked and grew closer to their union sisters. Kerry Woods of the Western Summer School recalled a time when they all boarded a bus to support rallying workers at El Super, a regional supermarket chain. “We rallied in front of the store chanting in both English and Spanish. The management of the store did not know we were coming and were taken aback by how many of us were there.” The workers of El Super, who are working with UFCW and have been fighting for a contract for years, were grateful for their help.

      Read More and Check Out Additional Photos


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  • December 09, 2016
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