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AFL-CIO Now

Tax Day and Equal Pay Day Will Make Tuesday a 'Twofer'

Do you believe wealthy Americans and corporations should pay their fair share in taxes and women should receive equal pay?  Then April 17 is “Twofer Tuesday.”

As part of the 99% Spring movement, some 100,000 activists will use Tax Day as a platform to demand that the 1% and corporations pay their fair share. April 17 is also Equal Pay Day, the date symbolizing how far into 2012 women must work to earn what men earned in 2011.

The Tax Day actions, organized by the 99% Spring coalition of unions and progressive groups, will highlight corporate tax dodgers like General Electric that over the past decade has paid an average tax rate of 2.3 percent. It will also focus on the very wealthy whose tax rates—thanks to loopholes and clever accounting tricks—are far lower than what working families pay.

Mitt Romney, whose wealth is measured in the hundreds of millions of dollars, paid just a 13.9 percent effective tax rate on his 2010 income, less than half of the what the average American pays in federal income taxes. BTW, he’s “proud” of it.

Click here to find a Tax Day action near you.

According the latest figures from the National Committee on Pay Equity (NCPE), women on average earn 77.4 cents for every dollar men earn. The gap is even wider for women of color.

In 2010, the earnings of African American women were $32,290, or 67.7 percent of men's earnings, and Latinas' earnings were $27,992, or just 58.7 percent of what men earned.

Check out NCPE’s The Wage Gap Over Time that shows how little the wage gap has changed in this century.

Two bills in Congress would address wage discrimination. The Paycheck Fairness Act, sponsored by Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.), would strengthen penalties that courts may impose for equal pay violations and prohibit retaliation against workers who inquire about or disclose information about employers' wage practices.

The Fair Pay Act, sponsored by Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) would prohibit wage discrimination based on sex, race and national origin by requiring employers to provide equal pay for work of equal value, whether or not the jobs are the same.

Not everyone is a big supporter of equal pay, though, apparently. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who is facing a recall election, recently signed the repeal of his state's Equal Pay Enforcement law.

Find out more about equal pay from the Coalition of Labor Union Women (CLUW) and the National Committee on Equal Pay and see what equal pay activists are saying on Twitter with the hash tags #closeit and #wagegap.

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