Shuler in Ms. Magazine: What’s on the Horizon for Working Women?

But the truth is, the real leaders are the local women and workers who are leading organizing movements and picketing lines across America, be it nurses in New York, teachers in Minnesota, retail workers at REI, warehouse workers at Amazon, or baristas at Starbucks. How these workers and many more have risen and seized our collective power over the past 12 months, with the Federation at their side, has been nothing short of historic.

As working people continue to push for more, over the next 12 months I will focus on how we can continue to build a bold, inclusive and modern movement that empowers working women through unions and a wave of grassroots organizing, Let all working people be on the road to a better life.

Women will continue to lead the labor movement forward

Women have always played an important role in shaping the values ​​of the labor movement, but now, as we lead some of the most inspiring organizing movements in decades, it is clear that gender equality is critical to the future of our movement.

Women make up half of the country’s workforce and are increasingly primary breadwinner in many families.However, we earn 82 cents per dollar Earned by men, while the figure is much lower for women of color.America is also lagging behind far from Performance of Other Countries on Women’s Labor Force Participation.

strong union is the solution to unlocking the full economic potential of women. AFL-CIO is the largest working women’s organization in the country. Women with union contracts earn 22 percent more than women who do not, and we can bargain for life-sustaining policies like child care and paid family leave.

As the Biden Administration looks to create millions of union jobs and apprenticeships through unprecedented federal investments in infrastructure, manufacturing and clean energy, we’re working to ensure women have greater access to these life-changing opportunities. We are also deeply committed to enhancing women’s leadership in trade unions and leveraging policies that promote women workers.

Grassroots organizing is how we win

We also had to build from scratch.Amazon, Starbucks, Delta Air Lines, Hello Fresh, Google and others spent over $400 million Advisers to dissuade unions — and a misinformation campaign of hundreds of millions, anti-union lobbying in Congress, and other measures to stifle workers Want to form and join a union.

So how do we win? It has to start from the ground. Building one-on-one relationships is more powerful than making big bucks. Using new and creative strategies, we can organize across industries to strengthen our collective strength. That’s why the AFL-CIO last year launched the Center for Transformative Organizing, the labor movement’s hub for implementing and amplifying powerful movements to increase union density and unleash unprecedented worker power.

It’s about training the next generation of organizers, taking the successes of union action in one industry and applying them to new ones.

A perfect example is the electric bus maker’s recent win blue bird In Georgia, workers’ right to form trade unions is severely restricted. Influential women’s organizers like Wilhelmenia Hardy have hired former employees to make the case for why unions will improve their workplaces and help them live better lives.

Obviously, this organization work. A record number of workers are applying for union elections — suggesting they see collective action as a path to a better life.

we share weal and woe

The way we win is with a real movement that reaches every workplace and every sector of our economy and public service. The labor movement is based on the belief that no matter our job, background, race, religion, gender or sexual orientation, we are all part of the struggle for dignity and respect. We’ve seen an incredible transformation in organized labor — more women, more immigrants, more people of color joining our movement, and as a result, we’re stronger than ever.

When the Writers Guild of America went on strike a few weeks ago, they weren’t alone. Support Athletes, teachers, flight attendants, receptionists, actors, directors and musicians showed their support almost immediately. This incredible display of support from across the labor movement is what modern unity looks like.

Here’s the best part: Everyone can participate. This is a movement for all women and all workers – for anyone who wants basic dignity and respect at work and in life. My challenge to everyone reading this is to go to your local working people rally and support your local strike. If you work where there is no union, consider whether it makes sense for you and your co-workers.

Always remember, in our sport, you have a home. We’re stronger, bigger and stronger than ever. We are ready to win together.

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