What's New at Coalition of Labor Union Women
This week, the Supreme Court just handed down a devastating ruling against reproductive freedom. In Trump v. Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court decided that employers and universities can deny contraceptive coverage to their employees and students based on their religious or moral objection to birth control.
This decision from the Supreme Court is a disaster for working women and leaves hundreds of thousands of Americans at risk of losing coverage for the contraceptive care critical to their health, equality, and economic security. CLUW has been heavily involved in various efforts to increase contraceptive access for years and are strongly opposed to this court ruling.
CLUW President Elise Bryant had this to say about the decision: “The decision by the Supreme Court will enable employers and universities to deny health insurance coverage of birth control. Since our beginning in 1974, the Coalition of Labor Union Women has worked hard to make sure every woman has a right to reproductive freedom. We will continue to join forces with our allies around the country to demand everybody’s right to have an affordable birth control option free from employer’s personal opinions and political interference.”
The people most impacted by this rule going into effect will be low-wage workers and others struggling to make ends meet who already face barriers to care, like Black, Latinx, and Asian American and Pacific Islander people, undocumented people, and LGBTQ people.
We must fight back to reverse and prevent the damage of this unjust and discriminatory Supreme Court decision. We will not go back!
August 18, 2020 is the centennial anniversary of ratification of the 19th amendment. The nineteenth amendment granted women the right to vote; however, CLUW understands not every woman was able to have a voice at the ballot box. We wanted to bring awareness by having a Women’s Suffrage Centennial Awareness Month, a month of action, to make sure the voices of all women and their communities are visible in 2020.
CLUW has joined the Gender Voting Equity Collaborative, a non-partisan coalition of organizations, bringing women to work together on gender equity with voter outreach and registration. The collaborative has also provided CLUW with a registration link for our members to use for their voter outreach and registration efforts.
Click here to view and use the CLUW voter registration portal for your voter outreach and registration efforts. CLUW will also have monthly reports and data with regards to our registration portal.
Let’s work together to ensure all women are ready to vote.
In a landmark decision on Monday, 6/15, the United States Supreme Court announced a historic ruling that protects LGBTQ workers against workplace discrimination! Before Monday, in the majority of states in America an LGBTQ person could be fired just for being gay or transgender with no protection from the law. Not today. In this unlikely time an amazing victory has been won and CLUW is proud to support this monumental Supreme Court decision.
CLUW President Elise Bryant shared the following words "In the midst of this tipping point time in America, the Supreme Court made a historic decision against workplace discrimination affecting LGBTQ workers! CLUW joins with our sibling organization, Pride at Work, in celebrating this moment in history. As we all know, our work to end discrimination and bigotry is not done, but it sure feels great to hear some good news for a change!"
This win was a result of the cases brought by Aimee Stephens, Gerald Bostock, and Don Zarda. Aimee was fired by her employer after coming out as trans, and Gerald and Don were fired for being gay. Today the Supreme Court made it clear that what happened to them was not just wrong—it was illegal. We encourage you to read this statement from fellow AFL-CIO constituency group Pride at Work for more context about this decision.
While this is a massive win, in many states it's still legal to deny housing or other public services to LGBTQ people, and the LGBTQ community still faces disparities in healthcare, education, and more. That’s why we need Congress to pass the Equality Act—landmark legislation that would explicitly provide these protections. The House of Representatives passed the bill last year, and now it’s time to pressure the Senate to do the same. Tell Your Senators to Pass the Equality Act Now!
No one should face discrimination simply because of who they are. Thank you to all the work that has been done to result in this historic decision and we are ready to fight for even more!
Close friends knew him as “Big Floyd.” He played basketball and football during his school years. He was a father of two who had moved to Minneapolis from Houston several years ago in order to find a job and start a new life. But on Monday, May 25th George Floyd, a 46-year-old black man, died at the hands of Minneapolis law enforcement. He was brutally pinned down to the ground and asphyxiated, by Police Officer Derek Chauvin, another three officers stood by, doing nothing to prevent George Floyd’s murder. It took authorities almost 4 days to press charges against Chauvin and more than 10 days to hold the three by standing officers accountable. George Floyd has since become the face of a movement aimed at dismantling a system that has legitimized racism, discrimination and oppression of communities of color across our nation.
That dynamic does not change without struggle, for example: the Civil Rights Act passed after 6 days of protests and conflict with police; Stonewall transformed a movement for the LGBTQ+ community because it was an armed conflict against police brutality; the cops who beat Rodney King weren’t arrested until there was confrontation with police forces; the armed conflict at Haymarket Square in Chicago was the spark for an 8 hour work day. America will not move or change unless we confront the institutions that suppress and oppress us. The senseless murder of George Floyd made this reality undeniable. His death was an attempt to kill the American Dream for future generations, nonetheless it has inspired our nation to come together, take to the streets and elevate our voices in defense of justice, equality and change.
This is not just a Black issue nor just a race issue. It is an institutional issue that has been built and maintained itself off Black exploitation and social division. The system is not protecting people or serving our interests, instead it protects property and serves corporate greed. But the manner in which some police so flagrantly kill Black people, so indiscriminately murder them, so easily pull the trigger, highlights the disparity in treatment and the system that enables these behaviors, demands that we all say BlackLivesMatter.
Under the Obama Administration we began to see policies and procedures implemented that allowed citizens better ability to hold police accountable. They were not perfect, but they were steps in the right direction. They were actions taken by our government that acknowledged the problem and was now willing to be negotiable on solutions. These were all undone by the current administration. If this president wants to restore any faith in our communities he will reimplement them now. If Vice-President Biden wants to show he truly cares about us, he will campaign to reimplement and enhance Obama era policies. If the institutions that govern and monitor the police do not show they are committed to that function, we the people are forced to do it ourselves.
Elected officials need to know we will not forget where they stood in the face of this murder. Will we have a government that blatantly sanctions Black murder, as it once codified in the Bill of Rights? Will we have a government that returns to its racist roots by advancing white supremacy as it once did under the Wilson administration? We the people decide that fate now and in November. We demand public hearings on this issue. We call on the United Nations to sanction this moment as a Human Rights Violation. We force law enforcement to arrest their own for brutality instead of us. We demand to be able to march in the streets like the “I Want a Haircut” protesters did a few weeks ago. We can remember that people should not fear their government, government should fear the people.
As Labor, our voice must be heard in the streets at this moment. It is not in our nature to stay silent in the face of continued injustice. The Labor Movement is the only check to corporate greed. That greed has led to decades of policing policies that value property more than lives.
Our purpose as a labor movement is to protect, include and advance economic justice, equal treatment, and opportunities for all workers regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or religion. We will not remain silent as Black communities across our nation face growing racial discrimination, as their lives are robbed, and as corporate greed continues to fill the pockets of the 1% at the expense of the shameful exploitation of marginalized communities. We are committed to continue pushing for racial and economic justice policies capable of empowering black workers and elevating their voices in demanding equality. We will seek justice from our elected officials and hold them accountable for their actions - or lack thereof - toward rebuilding marginalized communities and ending racist policing practices that value property over lives. This is the work of the labor movement. We will do it in the ways we know best: to mobilize and organize our communities, get them to the polls in November, and elect candidates who will advance policies capable of uplifting this segment of the community. Our elected officials must be committed to eradicating the root problems marginalized communities face, such as mass incarceration, homelessness, health, education, and wealth disparities, and so much more.
The Labor Coalition for Community Action, as representatives of marginalized communities of working people, recognizes that as members of our society and history will judge those who do not join this fight for a more inclusive and just nation. Today our duty is to amplify the message and demands of communities of color, therefore, we echo the demands of the Movement for Black Lives:
- We demand an end to the war against Black people
- We demand a divestment from the police and an investment in Black communities
- We demand local schools, colleges, universities, and all public institutions cut ties with the police
- We demand repair for past and continuing harms
- We demand relief for our communities
- We demand economic justice for all our people
- We demand the rights of protestors be respected
- We demand community control