Coalition of Labor Union Women

    • Connie Leak, Akina Reid and Marilyn Wiley at the CLUW summit booth which attracted considerable attention.

      At least 30 CLUW members came to Washington, DC to participate in the United State of Women Summit on June 14th, sponsored by The White House.  The Summit brought together 5,000 attendees to celebrate victories and acknowledge battles not yet won to achieve equality for women and girls domestically and internationally. The 12 hour program was filled with speakers including elected officials, labor leaders, celebrities and non-profit heads. The Summit included themes of economic empowerment, health and wellness, educational opportunity, violence against women, entrepreneurship and innovation, along with leadership and civic engagement.

      Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama and Tina Tchen, Assistant to the President and Chief of Staff to the First Lady served as program hosts.

      President Connie Leak commented that, “I am glad I, and our CLUW sisters, had the opportunity to hear the stories of so many advocates who are waging struggles for women and girls.  Their accomplishments are inspiring.”

      What follows are some highlights:

      Carol Gstalder of Consumer Insights North America, Nielsen reported public opinion which confirmed that 92% of Americans say that employers should take steps toward equality in the workplace. Liz Shuler, AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer who spoke later in the program would certainly agree. She explained, “Our idea is big. But it is not new. Imagine this: I’m trying to push a boulder up a hill. I’m leaning in with all my might. It’d be hard, if not impossible. But what if my friend Ariana helped? And then each of you helped, too? If all of us pushed that boulder, we could move mountains. That’s what a union is. Stronger collectively than we are apart. Working women have many boulders to move. Equal pay. Paid leave. Fair schedules. But if we stand together and negotiate together, we win together.” Later Mary Kay Henry, President of SEIU reinforced this by stating that, “When we speak out together we can make change happen in this country.” She pointed out that the success in raising the minimum wage has caused 10,000,000 people in NY and CA to have more money in their pockets.  Read more here.

      Laura Wentz, Philly Chapter President, Darlene Smith, NJ State President and Diana Limon, CA State President at summit.

      A recent tragedy occurred, where 49 people were killed and 53 wounded when a sole gunman opened fire in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando FL. Pulse was purposefully targeted by the gunman who held anti-gay sentiments.

      The Coalition of Labor Union Women mourns with the families and friends of the deceased, and the survivors, in the wake of this senseless tragedy. We stand in solidarity with Orlando.

      At CLUW’s recent convention, members adopted an anti-gun violence resolution pledging to use our collective voices to support gun reform legislation that would help prevent heinous crimes such as this one, that has shaken the entire country, from reoccurring. CLUW President Connie Leak emphasized that, “Now is the time to redouble our efforts to fight for gun control so these lives will not have been lost in vain!” She went on to say, “Hate is never the motivating force for change. Progress cannot be deterred by monstrous acts of hate. It will not stop us. We stand committed to continue the fight for full equality and liberty and justice for all!”

      Mosquito-Borne Illnesses: What They Are and How to Prevent Them
      from HealthyWomen’s Summer Safety area

      (This is the latest article in the monthly article 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.)

      Mosquitoes are one of summer's biggest annoyances. Their impact can be much worse than itchy bites, because these pests sometimes carry serious illnesses. This summer brings extra concerns because of the mosquito-borne Zika virus.

      And the Zika virus disease is just one common mosquito-borne illness in the United States. Here are the basics on Zika, ...

      Zika Virus Disease

      The Zika virus disease is primarily spread by infected Aedes aegypti mosquitoes. They are found throughout much of the Americas, including parts of the United States.

      These mosquitoes, which also spread the dengue and chikungunya viruses, lay eggs in and near standing water in places like buckets, bowls, flower pots and animal dishes. They like to bite people and are aggressive even during the day. They prefer to live indoors or outdoors near people.

      While Zika infections are not common in this country and have occurred only as a result of travel, they may increase with the arrival of hot weather and mosquito season. So far, the Zika virus disease has been reported primarily in Brazil and other areas of South America, as well as some cases in Central America, the Caribbean, Mexico, the Pacific Islands and Cape Verde.  Read more here.

      L-R: Dianna Limon, Allynson Harrell-Camarillo, Donchelle Soper, Camille Tyler, Jamie DeJournett -McDole. At microphone Belinda Malone and Tamie Dramer.

      On May 19, 2016, Sacramento CLUW was honored at the 17th Annual Salute to Labor Awards Dinner hosted by the Sacramento Central Labor Council AFL-CIO. With the theme, “Recognizing Excellence and Leadership in the Fight for Social and Economic Justice for Workers,” the California Capital (Sacramento) chapter was awarded the Building Our Future Award for engaging women to become part of a constituency group meant to better represent them in the workforce. CLUW CA State President Diana Limon (IBEW) presented the award to former chapter president and new CA State VP Belinda Malone (AFSCME) and California Capital Chapter representatives.

      At the 18th Biennial Convention in Sacramento, the California Capital charter was reissued on November 19th, 2015. Since then, with over 35 members, the chapter has been very active in the fight to raise the minimum wage on both the federal and state level, as well as participating in community events, such as 2016 Sacramento Earth Day. For more information and to get involved with the chapter, please visit their Facebook Page.

      Mentoring is a widely recognized tool for job, career and union development, particularly for women. Mentoring circles, as discussed at the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) education conference in April, offer a powerful and accessible variation on the traditional mentor/mentee model. As noted by CLUW President Connie Leak, it is no surprise that CLUW is an active advocate of both practices.

      This article, based on a workshop at the CLUW conference, focuses on what mentoring circles are and why CLUW is encouraging its chapters and union women's committees to initiate them — as well as how to create and sustain them.

      The Association for Women in Science defines mentoring circles as "a small group committed to meeting regularly and supporting one another with advice, encouragement and information" with a particular focus on "career growth and problem-solving...."

      As CLUW Pres. Leak observed, "Some of us have been lucky to have had a mentor…to have been taken under the wing of a more senior advisor/mentor — someone who taught us the ropes, the 'unspoken' rules, the unwritten politics of the union.” 

      "Unfortunately, for women and minorities, what I have just described is most often the exception rather than the rule, as most mentors are men and we know that men — when they look for mentors — most often seek out a mentee who looks like them or looked like them 25 years ago.  That excludes many women and minorities....”.  Read more here.

      CLUW members discuss mentoring circles as a way to educate and engage members and potential members.

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