The era of the male dominated labor movement is behind us. Women make up half of the labor workforce, according to the AFL-CIO. In 10 years, they predict women will make up 50 percent of union members, too.
AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Liz Shuler, one of the highest ranking labor leaders in the country, says it’s easy to see why women are getting more involved and moving up in the labor movement.
“Women have a predisposition to organizing in the workplace and coming together collectively,” said Shuler, at a panel on women unionism in Washington, DC.
Women are becoming more involved in all unions, and the women of the IAM are leading the charge. General Secretary-Treasurer Dora Cervantes and General Vice President Diane Babineaux have advanced to two of the highest leadership roles in the union.
Shuler detailed how the presence of women in the labor movement is affecting collective bargaining across the country. She says more women are becoming active in their unions and demanding paid family and medical leave, paid sick days, equal pay, flexibility, and certainty in scheduling. This involvement in the labor movement not only gives a boost to women in the workforce, but is bringing dividends to workers all across the country.