|Brother Miller and Friend|
Our brother Britt Miller from Local 222
in Salt Lake City tells use he just started a blog called Union Alley Cat
. He published his first post on Saturday, "An Introduction," from which we excerpt the following:
I have always thought the most universally applicable solutions to social, civil and poverty-oriented problems have been through Unions. Unions were promoting racial unity before it was cool. Unions demanded equal pay for women doing equal work in the middle of the 20th Century. In Utah today, the gender-pay gap has women earning $0.76 to a man's dollar. In Union shops, everybody with comparable seniority earns the same wage. Equity is equity, and what used to be a call for racial or gender equity is now a call for civil equity of the LGBTQ community. Unions still offer the best pay, the best health insurance and the best retirement plans (we have pensions.) Unions should appeal to people on all points on the political spectrum: from the most liberal because we take care of those in need of support; to the most conservative because we provide any Union worker the means to provide for him or herself and family without relying on Government assistance.
We think his comments are especially apt as debate on the Paycheck Fairness Act begins in the U.S. Senate today. According to CQ Today Online:
Gender politics will return to the fore as the Senate begins a debate Monday on equal pay legislation that is likely to reverberate into the fall election campaigns.
The bill on Tuesday will almost certainly fail to reach the 60-vote threshold required for cloture, giving Democrats more ammunition to accuse Republicans of waging a “war on women.” The showdown, however, risks turning an issue that once enjoyed some measure of bipartisan support into one that is politically polarized.
Known as the Paycheck Fairness Act, the legislation (S 3220) requires that employers pay men and women with similar qualifications the same wages for similar jobs. It allows women to sue for punitive damages in discrimination cases and bars employers from forbidding employees to discuss their salaries among themselves.