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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.

Nov. 4: It’s All About Women

Nov. 4: It’s All About Women

The other day I read a statistic that made me laugh a little. It said women’s issues are shaping up as the second-biggest issue among voters this year, behind only the economy.

Really? I don’t think so.

We are the economy.

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11 Great Reasons to Vote

I’m sure you are planning to vote, but maybe you know people who are on the fence—who think elections in non-presidential years just aren’t that important. Not true!

Here are 11 great reasons you can share with them to get them to the polls (after the jump). 

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I'm a Koch Sister, Too!

AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler with Joyce and Karen Koch

You’ve heard of the Koch Brothers, the ultra-rich, corporate extremists whose deep pockets are flooding election-season airwaves. Too often, their goals are part of a political playbook to drive down wages, cut Social Security and Medicare and secure more corporate tax breaks at the expense of our environment. Their money may dominate America's politics and lawmaking, but their values and ideals sure don’t.

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Beyond Summit, Sustained Focus Needed for Working Women and Families

Aisha Thurman makes tipped minimum wage as a server in Michigan and is a member of the Restaurant Opportunities Centers United.

Next week, people from all over the country will convene in Washington, D.C.—and many more will log in to participate virtually—at a White House Summit on Working Families. Under the banner of “creating a 21st century workplace that works for all Americans,” we’ll hear from businesses, economists, advocates, workers and, yes, labor leaders to discuss policy solutions that can make a difference in the lives of working families. It’s an important conversation, and I look forward to seeing great examples of companies that give their employees meaningful benefits, fathers who take family leave when a new baby arrives and communities coming together to support workers struggling to get by.

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Walmart Moms: ‘Their Fight Is Our Fight’

Our walmart photo

This an open letter from AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler to the nation's working women.  

In a show of national unity, Walmart moms are walking off the job in stores throughout the country this week. After years of trying to support themselves and their families on wages that are too low, with schedules that rob them of full-time benefits and an employer who fires co-workers who audaciously ask for more pay, they have had enough.

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Senate Hearing Today: When Women Organize, America Succeeds

Image via the Economic Policy Institute

Today, the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee hosts a roundtable discussion on economic security for working women (you can see the live-stream starting at 2:30 p.m. and find the participants’ testimony at http://help.senate.gov). Lori Pelletier, executive secretary-treasurer of the Connecticut AFL-CIO, is taking part in the roundtable and pointing out some of the reasons a union card is one of the best things a woman can have in her wallet—including better pay and benefits, family-friendly work policies and a strong and effective voice in enacting women’s legislative priorities. Lori’s state, Connecticut, was the first in the country to pass legislation requiring paid sick days, and that would not have happened, she says, without the labor movement. 

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Young People Understand Unions Can Solve Problems

Image via Working America

The National Labor Relations Board’s Chicago regional director issued a notable finding last week: Football players at Northwestern University are employees of the university for purposes of federal labor law. The legal finding, however, is the result of something even more striking. The overwhelming majority of the talented young men who have been awarded scholarships to play on the Northwestern football team expressed their desire to be represented by a union. And they turned to the College Athletes Players Association to file a petition with the NLRB asking for an election to bargain collectively with the university. 

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International Women's Day: Where Does the U.S. Rank in Gender Equality for Women Workers?

International Women's Day: Where Does the U.S. Rank in Gender Equality for Women Workers?

In the United States, a woman makes only 77 cents for every dollar a man makes. The majority of minimum wage and tipped workers are women. Nearly 40 million workers don’t have a single paid sick day. And here’s just one more incredible stat about women in our country: The U.S. has paid maternity and parental benefits similar to Swaziland, Lesotho and Papua New Guinea. That is to say, zilch.

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Food, Fashion and a Little History

No one seems to know exactly who or what to thank for the 43% drop in obesity among 2- to 5-year-olds, writes AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Elizabeth Shuler in her new column for MomsRising

I know who to thank: You…moms. Many factors probably contribute to this huge improvement, but the fact that kids are getting fewer sugar-packed drinks also points to you.

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Teamwork, from Sochi to Chicago

Olympic speedskater Emily Scott is the daughter of Springfield, Mo., Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 453 member Craig Scott

Title IX deserves a gold: While we cheer for Team USA and the amazing girls and women in the Olympic Games, let’s also give a shout out to Title IX, the 1972 law that put sports within reach of girls in a whole new way by requiring gender equity in schools. And make some noise for American Sarah Hendrickson, who last week became the first woman ever to take an official ski jump at a Winter Games.

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