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There’s Another “Equal Pay Day” We Should Be Talking About

BWEPDTimeCard-cropped-e1437759202946The gender pay gap is one of the contributing factors to economic inequality. Women earn just 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. This means women have to work longer before they can retire, don’t earn as much as they need to raise the families they want, and are more likely to be in poverty.

But for one group of women, the statistics are even worse. African-American women make fewer cents on the dollar compared to white men then women overall. Black women earn just 64 cents for every dollar earned by their white male counterparts.

This startling wage disparity is why today is being dubbed “Black Women’s Equal Pay Day” by some progressive organizations across the nation. The disparity further demonstrates how racial injustice and economic inequality are linked.

Groups such as Atlanta Women for Equality (AWE) are urging women to symbolically clock out of work at 2:07 pm today to bring attention to the fact that despite how much progress we think we have made in our country, black women are still being paid significantly less than white men who do the same work.

According to AWE, black women earn only 64 cents “for every dollar earned by white men”. The organization set 2:07 p.m.–approximately 64 percent of an average workday–as the time of day for black women to symbolically clock out since white men will have earned as much at this point in the day as black women working a full day.  And for a black woman to earn the same income as her white male counterparts in 2014, she would need to work an extra 208 days into 2015 — or July 28, 2015.

This data also means that over the course of a 40-year career, black women would typically lose $775,000 to the wage gap – meaning they would have to work almost 63 years to earn what a white man would make in 40 years.

Although calling attention this wage gap is important, more work needs to be done to fix the problem. We need elected officials who will stand up for millions of women across the country who are working hard while not being paid a fair wage.

Union membership is another way we can decrease economic inequality and work to eliminate the wage gap for women, black women, and all minorities. Black women who are union members make an average of 13.1% more wages than their non-union counterparts. And union jobs give workers a collective voice in which they can speak out and negotiate in order to ensure equal work gets equal pay.

You can take part in Black Women’s Equal Pay Day on social media by following and using the hashtags #BlackWomenEqualPay and #ClockOut4EqualPay.

 

Upgrading Malaysia’s Status: Bad for Human Rights and American Workers

“It’s a shame President Obama and his administration will go to such lengths to impose another free trade agreement on American workers.”

via The Diplomat

via The Diplomat

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Marc Perrone, International President of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union (UFCW), today released the following statement in response to the Obama administration’s decision to upgrade Malaysia’s position in its annual Trafficking in Persons report.

“We are greatly disappointed by the State Department’s decision to upgrade Malaysia in its annual human trafficking report. Removing Malaysia from its tier 3 status is a clear and premeditated political decision by the Obama Administration to eliminate any possible stumbling block for the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Free Trade Agreement.

“At a time when American workers are grappling with increasing uncertainty, income inequality and stagnating wages, this administration and this Congress have shown they would rather protect corporate interests over the concerns of everyday American workers. Hard-working men and women will now lose their jobs or struggle to earn a good income because of a trade deal negotiated in secret by for-hire special interest henchmen.

“Labor and human rights cannot, and should not, be negotiated to appease the economic interests of a few. The workers of Malaysia and of America deserve better. Shame on you for prioritizing a trade agreement over the well-being of America’s hardworking families.”

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UFCW Statement on A&P Bankruptcy Developments

A&PFor Immediate Release: July 24, 2015

Contact: press@ufcw.org

Montvale, N.J. – The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) International Union International President Marc Perrone, released the following statement on behalf of UFCW Locals 27, 100R, 152, 342, 371, 400, 464-A, 1245, 1262, 1360, 1500, 1776 and RWDSU Locals 338 and 1034, after meeting with A&P executives to discuss the future of A&P and its proposed sale.

“For years, the hard-working men and women of A&P not only did their jobs, they personally and financially sacrificed to invest in A&P’s success. These sacrifices were made for the sake of their families, their co-workers, and the customers and communities that they deeply care about. Now, at this critical time, after repeated mismanagement and strategic mistakes made by company executives, A&P is asking for even more. Enough is enough!

“Instead of asking for more sacrifices to pay-off a select group of executives and corporate investors, A&P should be focusing on their workers and their families during this challenging time.

“We want to be very clear, our members and their families sacrificed. They invested financially and personally in the success of these stores and they remain committed to working hard to make these stores a success for any responsible buyers. But make no mistake, we will not take part in any effort that asks them to give up what they have earned and deserve.

“Looking ahead, we will work cooperatively and constructively with anyone, but we will fight back with everything we have if A&P or its financial backers attempt to further exploit our members. For A&P to ask our members to give up their rights and benefits is simply unacceptable. Moreover, it is an insult given that it is our hard-working members who have and will make these stores a success. In fact, what will make these stores a true financial success is new and responsible management, not more sacrifices by A&P’s hard-working men and women.

“If A&P, its executive team, or its investors want to play the blame game, they should all look in the mirror.

“Now is the time for A&P to do what is right and we fully expect that they will honor their responsibilities to its employees, our members, and their families.”