Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Fair Pay Day

I meant to blog this earlier, but today is Blog for Equal Pay Day. Specter kind of took over the news cycle, but I do have a few things to say about this.

Women still make only 78 cents to every dollar men make. From the National Women's Law Center via Change.org:

Women are far more likely to live in poverty than men. Women working full-time, year-round are paid only about 78 cents for every dollar earned by men. African-American women earn 69 cents and Latinas earn 59 cents for every dollar paid to men. This wage gap cannot be dismissed as the result of "women's choices" in career and family matters. In fact, authoritative studies show that even when all relevant career and family attributes are taken into account, there is still a significant, unexplained gap in men's and women's earnings. Thus, even when women make the same career choices as men and work the same hours, they still earn less.

You can sign the petition for the Paycheck Fairness Act, blog about this, call your congresscritters, do whatever. You can also remember that unions are one of the best ways to raise the wages and benefits of working people, and that, as I wrote not long ago, the Employee Free Choice Act is a feminist issue.

From the Center for Economic and Policy Research:
*”On average, unionization raised women’s wages by 11.2 percent – about $2.00 per hour – compared to non-union women with similar characteristics.”

Finally, to tie all this back in with Specter and breaking news, even though Specter said his vote on cloture for EFCA would not change, in reality, winning a Democratic primary in Pennsylvania without union support will be tough--and apparently Specter had a meeting with Teamsters President Hoffa yesterday before deciding his party switch...

So. Support paycheck fairness for women, particularly women of color, and support the Employee Free Choice Act. Damnit.