Access to Union Jobs Will Bring Wage Equality to More Black Women
The following statement may be attributed to Kyle Bragg, President 32BJ SEIU.
“As a union with a majority non-white membership, including thousands of black women, we denounce the discriminatory pattern of wage disparity we see throughout our country’s workplaces. While the “American Dream” sells us the myth that by working hard, everyone in the U.S. can succeed equally, we know that systemic racism, sexism and poverty leads to less opportunity for some, lower wages in fields typically occupied by black women, and employers regularly paying black women less than white men for the same work. As a black labor leader who lived through the civil rights movement of the 1960s, it’s disheartening that in 2019, black women are only earning 61 cents for every dollar made by a white man.
We must put a stop to this inequality, which affects all of our communities by keeping children in poverty, making it harder for couples to earn enough to provide for their families, and perpetuates the cycle of poverty for black women and men. Labor unions have a big part to play in closing the wage gap. By winning strong contracts with fair wages, all workers’ pay is transparent, and employers can’t pay individual workers less than their contract stipulates. At 32BJ SEIU, our funds also make educational and training opportunities available to our workers, giving them the ability to increase their earning ability and growth opportunities. In addition to passing strong legislation that makes it harder for employers to discriminate against workers based on race and gender, we need to grow our union movement.
With over 175,000 members in 11 states, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property services union in the country.