FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 11, 2011
Jollene Levid, National Chairperson
AF3IRM Stands with Wisconsin Workers, Decries the Disproportionate Impact of Anti-Union Bill on Women Workers
The Association of Filipinas, Feminists Fighting Imperialism, Re-feudalization, & Marginalization (AF3IRM) condemns the Wisconsin state Senate’s vote to pass Governor Walker’s anti-union bill. This vote, held secretly on the night of March 9, is in violation of the state’s open meeting laws and without the mandatory quorum of attendance necessary to pass a bill through the Senate. The illegal move by the Senate only further highlights the Republicans’ anti-union sentiment and will disproportionately affect the women workers of Wisconsin. The state assembly followed suit on the morning of March 10.
Women stand to lose the most if this bill is passed. The bill proposes to take away public sector workers’ collective bargaining rights, which allow workers to form unions and bargain over basic benefits such as salary, healthcare, receiving due process, and non-discrimination language to protect workers. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, 61% of local government workers and 52% of state workers are women. Another statistic says that teachers, who are also set to lose their collective bargaining rights per this bill, are over 81% women. These staggering figures show that this anti-union bill targets professions traditionally held by women.
Losing labor rights will adversely affect the gains made by the women’s movement for women’s economic independence. Unionization is intimately tied to women’s economic independence, as study after study has shown that women in unionized workplaces are more likely to keep their jobs; mothers in particular are able to be retained due to benefits such as maternity leave and healthcare, which are staples of union contracts. Women who had never had a voice have them through the power of collective bargaining, and this is all at risk by the recent Republican moves to bust unions.
We in AF3IRM stand with the women and all workers of Wisconsin in their struggle to keep their basic rights as union employees. We demand that this bill be immediately removed from the table and that union workers retain the right to collectively bargain – in Wisconsin and all other states where union workers are under attack!
Stand with the women, the workers of Wisconsin!
Women workers of the world unite – an attack on one is an attack on all!
Women’s Liberation is People’s Liberation!