Iron workers, teachers, healthcare workers, and actors recently took part in “Hollywood to the Docks” a 28-mile walk from South LA to the Port of Loas Angeles. More than 5000 union members and supporters took part in the march. Leilani Albano met participants along the way:
The three-day SERIES OF EVENTS was part of a citywide effort to strengthen ties among workers and garner support from the community for unionization.
Anthony Cistaro, who is with the Screen Actors Guild, participated in the event.
[Cistaro]: LA’s a labor town and the efforts the unions have made in raising their own working conditions have helped working conditions for everybody.
By Doug Cunningham
[Clinton]: “I want to thank my friends in our labor unions for standing with us every step of the way!”
Senator Hillary Clinton, after a solid presidential primary in Pennsylvania win against Senator Barack Obama. Clinton spoke directly to blue collar workers after her clear victory last night.
[Clinton 2]: “I’m in this race to fight for you. To fight, to fight for everyone who’s ever been counted out, for everyone fighting to pay the grocery bills or the medical bills, the credit card and mortgage payments, and the outrageous price of gas at the pump today.”
Ted Kirsch is president of the Pennsylvania American Federation of Teachers, a union backing Clinton. He says blue collar workers gave Clinton this win.
Gas and electric utility workers in New Mexico and Arkansas, firefighters in Alabama, call center workers in Iowa, sports television employees in Minnesota and mechanics in California are among the latest workers to win a union voice at work.
In New Mexico, some 262 gas workers at Public Service New Mexico are now members of the Electrical Workers (IBEW) after voting to join IBEW Local 611. With the pending sale of the gas division to new owners with a track record of outsourcing work and cutting costs, workers turned to the union. As soon as they did, the new owner, Continental Energy Corp., turned to union-busters.
This is a cross-post by Ellen Bravo, former director of 9to5, National Association of Working Women and author of Taking on the Big Boys: Or Why Feminism Is Good for Families, Business and the Nation.
Congratulations, working women! As of today, your salary since January 1, 2007, has finally reached the total earned by your male colleagues in 2007 alone. What’s more, this pay gap is all your fault!
According to the media, the problem is that women just don’t ask. If we learned to speak up in salary negotiations, pay equity would be a hard fact.
An ABC News segment called the negotiation process “something that each of us has the ability to control….No employer has an obligation to whisper in the woman’s ear, ‘Hey, you know, you just lost out on more money because you didn’t speak up.’”
Stories like these leave out a few important realities: The majority of women work in jobs where they have no right whatsoever to negotiate for pay. Many are like Donna, a software developer whose employment agreement lists “discussing salary with colleagues” among “fire-able offenses.” Hard to know you’re making less than others if you’re not allowed to know what the others earn.