I’ll tell you the truth, I watched the PBS documentary, MAKERS: The Women Who Make America, because one of our top staffers at the AFL-CIO and Working America—Karen Nussbaum—was in it. I’m so glad I did. I had forgotten what a steep climb it has been for women in this country. It wasn’t that long ago women had little or no place in sports, culture, public life, or the workplace.
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) embarked on a 200-mile march from Fort Myers, Fla., to Lakeland to raise awareness about the Fair Food movement that has encouraged growers and big tomato buyers (Subway, McDonald’s, Burger King and companies that provide food for dining halls, etc.) to agree to higher wages and other worker protections. The march, which goes from March 3-17, will end at Publix headquarters to put the pressure on supermarket industry leaders who continue to refuse these protections.
The renewal of the Violence Against Women Act is now on its way to President Obama, who has said he will sign it into law. On the eve of Women's History Month, working families were able to celebrate that the House finally passed the renewal of the Violence Against Women Act on Thursday. The Senate already passed the act.
Gloria Johnson, 85, a founding member and former president of the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW), died Feb. 13 at Southern Maryland Hospital Center in Clinton, Md. She also served as an AFL-CIO vice president. Says AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka:
Gloria’s values and unapologetic stance for the full inclusion of women and minorities in the workplace and society will continue to inspire and improve the lives of working women and men….The barriers she broke and the foundations she helped lay will undoubtedly live on in history.
Women, men and children across the world are taking collective action this Valentine's Day to speak up and demand an end to violence against women. Union leaders and workers in the United States have joined this massive global coalition. Flash mobs (a dance in a public place coordinated by a group of people) are being held in cities from San Francisco to Delhi, India; Manila, Philippines; Khartoum, Sudan; and many more.
At a Turkish-owned textile plant in the Democratic Republic of Georgia a few years ago, female employers were repeatedly forced to remain on the job without pay for hours a day. When they ultimately demanded to be released, the factory manager responded by yelling and throwing a heavy load of unfinished dresses at one woman. The blow knocked her unconscious. The factory manager returned to Turkey to avoid prosecution—but likely would not have faced charges even if he had stayed, says Bob Fielding, Solidarity Center country program director in Georgia, who described the incident.
Working America and the AFL-CIO have made it easy to host a party, by providing a step-by-step guide that tells you what to expect and how to make your party successful. Working America has been hosting parties like this for the past five years, and they make a difference. Women who hear about how important it is to vote from other women actually vote at higher rates.