THE BLOG

Latina Equal Pay Day: Women's Campaigns For Economic Justice Go On After Election Day

Latina Equal Pay Day 2016 is Tuesday, November 1. This Day of Action commemorates the fact that Latinas are paid 54 cents on the dollar to while, male workers in similar jobs. November 1 marks the 11 additional months that the average Latina trabajadora would have to work to get paid what the while, male worker would in just one year.

On Latina Equal Pay Day, my organization, the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA), will get out the facts, raise our voices, and mobilize Latino labor leaders around the country for action. This Day of Action will include a public Town Hall event with our partners at the AFL-CIO, at 6:30PM ET on November 1, which will also be livestreamed on LCLAA's facebook page for a national audience. The gathering will be preceded by a Twitter Storm on the vital issue of Equal Pay and closing the gendered Wage Gap at 2PM ET on November 1, using the hashtags #LatinaEqualPay and #Trabajadoras. Follow @LCLAA on twitter to get plugged in, or go to latinaequalpay.org
to find great resources and guidance on how to support the campaign.

These Latina Equal Pay Day events are part of LCLAA's Trabajadoras campaign, which aims to elevate the issues facing the most vulnerable workers, Latinas, including immigrants without legal status. We know that the employer blackmail that is currently enabled by our broken immigration system is a major contributor to the wage gap, because immigrant trabajadoras face the greatest gendered wage gap among women.

With all of the discussion in this year's presidential campaign of inequality and women's empowerment in the face of enduring, shocking sexism, Equal Pay is a cause whose time has come. And for activists looking beyond the election for movements that can build on the amazing strides we have made in pushing progressive economic solutions onto the table for discussion, Equal Pay connects to a full array of ongoing campaigns that we can all directly engage with and support well beyond election day.

The following is a list of issue campaigns on topics which rightly should be in the election conversation, with candidates responding to these concerns and offering progressive solutions. At the same time, on-the-ground activism and issue-based electoral engagement are two complementary activities that can contribute to building strong movement for gender equity.

Here are some campaigns dealing with issues related to the Wage Gap, and the intersection of economic inequality with women's labor rights and social empowerment. If you aren't hearing them addressed, demand a response! Letters to the editor, online comments, and social media directed at candidates are all ways that you can make our candidates and elected officials discuss these real issues.

I hope you will join LCLAA and AFL-CIO for our Latina Equal Pay Day event online, go in-depth at latinaequalpay.org and, most importantly, connect with a an ongoing, movement campaign for economic justice for women and all workers that moves you, in your community.

Together, we will end economic discrimination against Latinas and all women, and achieve economic justice for all.

Equal Pay
Equal Pay Today Campaign, American Civil Liberties Union

Equal Pay Today works in coalition to leverage the expertise, network, and resources of its state projects and roundtable organizations to close the gender wage gap across the United States."

The campaign's vision includes: Compliance with existing laws, eliminating the gendered wage gap, transparency in pay without retaliation, fair overtime pay, an end to wage theft, and Family-Forward human resources policies that protect and support all workers.

Wage Transparency
Equal Pay Campaign, Restaurant Opportunities Center

Pay secrecy often prevents workers from discovering and taking action against wage discrimination. The "Wage Transparency Amendment Act" would increase pay equity and transparency by prohibiting retaliation against employees for discussing their wages and eliminating wage non-disclosure agreements, or so-called "pay secrecy" policies.

Living Wage
#FightFor15, Fight for 15

The Fight for a $15 minimum wage has rightly been called the civil rights movement of our time, and has grown into an international movement in over 300 cities on six continents of fast-food workers, home health aides, child care teachers, airport workers, adjunct professors, retail employees - and underpaid workers everywhere. (Also see "Tipped Minimum Wage" and "One Fair Wage" campaign from Restaurant Opportunities Center, below!)

TIPPED Minimum Wage
One Fair Wage Campaign, Restaurant Opportunities Center

Did you know that tipped workers are paid a separate, lower minimum wage? It's $2.13 an hour at the federal level, a rate that hasn't changed since 1991. That's bad enough, but the tipped minimum wage is especially unjust and harmful for women worker. Because they are dependent on customer tips for the vast bulk of their wages, women workers are often forced to tolerate sexual harassment and even assault while they work.

Sexual Harassment
Hands Off, Pants On Campaign , UNITEHERE
In order to better understand the experience of women working in Chicagoland hotels and casinos, UNITE HERE Local 1, Chicago's hospitality workers union, pioneered a program to survey nearly 500 women. The study reveals that 58% of hotel workers and 77% of casino workers surveyed have been sexually harassed by a guest. Sexual harassment and assault are gendered oppression, and clear workplace safety threats.