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Showing blog posts by Liz Shuler

About Liz Shuler

Liz Shuler was elected AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer in September 2009, the youngest person ever to become an officer of the AFL-CIO. Shuler previously was the highest-ranking woman in the Electrical Workers (IBEW) union, serving as the top assistant to the IBEW president since 2004. In 1993, she joined IBEW Local 125 in Portland, Ore., where she worked as an organizer and state legislative and political director. In 1998, she was part of the IBEW’s international staff in Washington, D.C., as a legislative and political representative.

Quality Early Childhood Education and Care Is a Necessity for All Children

Photo courtesy Wikimedia Commons

Every day you hear stories about families sitting around the kitchen table trying to figure out how to pay for their children’s college tuition. But the reality is that many families with young children also struggle to figure out how to pay for early education and child care. In fact, today, early childhood education and child care are two of the most pressing issues facing working families. These issues are very important to the AFT and to the entire labor movement. High-quality early childhood care and education should be available for all children, not just the wealthy few.

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Our Days, Our Lives: Working Women Need a Voice on the Job

Our Days, Our Lives: Working Women Need a Voice on the Job

Shirley Chisholm broke ground as the first African American woman elected to Congress. But back in 1970, she knew her story was the exception, not the rule. Speaking during a debate on the Equal Rights Amendment, she said, and I quote: “Discrimination against women, solely on the basis of their sex, is so widespread that it seems…normal, natural and right.”

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Women Deserve a Voice on the Job and at the Ballot Box

Today, we celebrate Women’s Equality Day, a day that commemorates the 19th Amendment being ratified granting millions of women the right to vote. In the 95 years since, women have used their votes to better their lives, strengthen their families and protect their communities. But women have yet to maximize their power at the polls—about one-third of all U.S. women and nearly 40% of unmarried women are not registered to vote—or in the workplace. The labor movement provides almost 7 million women with a voice on the job through union membership and is a driving force in the fight for economic equality and security for women.  

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Why the New Overtime Proposal is a Win for Working Women

Why the New Overtime Proposal is a Win for Working Women

For months we’ve heard that the economy is finally moving in the right direction, except for one hitch: Working people’s wages, particularly those of women, are not going up. One big reason: For years, millions of workers have clocked in more and more hours without ever seeing an extra cent in their paychecks. That’s wrong. Too many workers, most of whom are women, are seeing their finances stretched to the limit because even though they work overtime, they are not compensated for it.

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What Ellen Pao Overlooked…and Gawker Writers Get Right

Photo courtesy Alliance for Retired Americans on Flickr

Earlier this month, the CEO of Reddit, Ellen Pao, announced the company would no longer allow employees to negotiate their salaries. Pao explained the move was an attempt to close the pay gap between women and men since, based on her experience, women are worse negotiators than men and as she put it, “From what I've heard from women, they…feel like there’s no way to win.”

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Unions Are a Woman's Best Friend

Planning at the AFL-CIO's Next Up Young Worker Summit

With National Women’s History Month behind us now, it’s still important to celebrate the great strides women have made over the past decades. It is equally important to remember how many women workers still don’t have the basic necessities they need to support themselves and their families. The labor movement views the struggle for women’s equality as a shared fight, especially considering women are the sole or primary breadwinners for 40% of families in the United States. Women of color, in particular, have a hard time getting good pay and benefits, and they make up a disproportionate share of low-wage workers.

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It's Past Time We Invested in Young Workers

It's Past Time We Invested in Young Workers

Free, high-quality public higher education. Expanded apprenticeship programs. Jobs that pay living wages. Workplaces that are free of discrimination. Strong union rights. Don't those sound great?

These are what the members of the AFL-CIO's Young Worker Advisory Council are asking for in their newly released Youth Economic Platform. This new generation of union leaders is tired of tone-deaf political conversation that completely misses the mark. They're fed up with an economy that's not working -- especially for young people.

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Three Ways to Raise Wages

Three Ways to Raise Wages

For a lot of working people, this holiday season will be one of belt-tightening rather than shopping sprees. Let’s face it, our wages just aren’t keeping up the way they used to. Here’s a fact: Average income for the least rich 90% of us has been flat since the 1970s, although people are working more hours. Not a recipe for a holiday-buying bonanza.

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