In honor of Labor Day 2016, this week’s Igniting Change with Barbara Arnwine Radio Show will explore the topic of Race, Gender, the Labor Movement and Equal Pay: Will the 2016 Elections Make a Difference.” Our very special experts guests include Dr. William Spriggs, Chief Economist to the AFL-CIO, and professor and former Chair of the Department of Economics at Howard University; Terry O’Neill, President of the National Organization for Women; Fatima Goss Graves, Senior Vice-President for Program at the National Women’s Law Center and others.
Labor Day is designed to celebrate the achievements of the American Labor Movement and the American worker. Increasingly the American workplace is diversifying with the changing racial and gender demographics of this nation. Sadly, this diversity has not automatically translated into equality or better wages or employment conditions for workers as the nature of employment has been rapidly undergoing changes in the United States. At the same time the Labor Movement is experiencing major transitions within this changing global economy. From “Fight for 15” to demands for worker safety, the Labor Movement has become resurgent following a period of less activism.
Last week on Friday, August 26th, “Women’s Equality Day” was recognized to commemorate the Anniversary of the 1920 certification of the 19th Amendment to the US Constitution which provided for suffrage for women. However, the historical exclusion of Black women from the coverage of the 19th Amendment was not discussed.
Indeed, a few days earlier, on August 23, 2016, through a designated “Black Women’s Equality Day”, efforts were made to inform the public of the devastating Equal Pay Gap that African American women experience in the workforce. White women have a wage gap of 78 cents for every dollar earned by White men. Black men earn 75.1 cent for every dollar earned by White men. And Black women earn 64 cents, and Latina women, 54 cents for every dollar earned by White men. This issue of equal pay is critical to the overall success of the Labor Movement. In addition, issue of childcare are of major importance. Census data reveals that most children under age 5 are children of color.
Our guests will discuss the status of the Labor Movement, the Fight for 15, Racial Equality, Gender equality, Intersectionality, Equal Pay Gap, Childcare and other issues of criticality for equality in the workplace.