More than 250 working women, along with AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler, attended the White House Summit on Working Families on Monday to join with the president in calling for more family- and women-friendly workplace policies. There are some employers participating in the president's agenda to raise wages and improve working conditions, but Shuler and the AFL-CIO emphasize that the best path to most women workers seeing improvements is through collective action and bargaining. While the summit had a broad focus on issues important to working families, Shuler emphasized that workers talk to her about issues like raising wages, paid sick days, paid family leave, pay equality, flexible work practices, stability in scheduling and others.
Here are some of the key tweets from yesterday's summit:
If women earned equal pay for equal work, our economy could grow, boosting GDP by 2.9% or $450 billion. #familiessucceed— EMILY's List (@emilyslist) June 23, 2014
FACT: Women are now the primary or co-breadwinner in nearly two-thirds of American families. #FamiliesSucceed— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) June 23, 2014
In related news, AFGE President J. David Cox Jr. applauded a new White House action on an issue that is important to working families with children—workplace flexibility. Cox said:
Providing employees with more flexible work arrangements is just common sense. Employees will be more productive and happier in their jobs, while employers will have an easier time recruiting and retaining quality workers. Unfortunately, some of our councils have faced enormous resistance from managers to proposals that would expand the use of flexible work schedules, particularly telework. With the White House demonstrating leadership in this area, hopefully the walls will begin to crack and federal workplaces will begin to embrace these flexibilities.