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USW Calls for Paycheck Fairness
Mitt Romney as Republican Presidential Nominee Should End Silence
(Pittsburgh)– The United Steelworkers (USW) today called on Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney to end his silence on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill under consideration in the U.S. Senate that would provide greater protection to women who suffer because of sex-based pay discrimination.
“In this environment, when more hard-working women are the sole wage-earners for their families, it is particularly vital that we provide them with every tool to fight discrimination by their employers,” said USW International President Leo W. Gerard. “Throughout this primary season, we have seen Republican candidates take aim at women’s rights. It is time for Mitt Romney to end his party’s despicable war on women and support this bill.”
Romney has not responded to repeated media inquiries seeking his position on the bill, which the Senate is scheduled to consider next week.
In contrast, President Obama has voiced consistent support for paycheck fairness. In 2009, the new president made the Lilly Ledbetter Act the first bill he signed into law. That law expanded the rights of women to sue employers for back pay and legal costs in pay discrimination cases. The law now under consideration would expand those rights, allowing compensatory or punitive damages.
Corporations, led by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, oppose the bill, arguing it would spawn frivolous lawsuits.
Carol Landry, USW International Vice President at Large, said: “Quite simply, women deserve the same pay as men for the same work. Even when accounting for variables like experience, hours and education, women still only make about 80 cents for every dollar earned by me.”
She added, “This would help put a stop to such discrimination.”
The USW represents about 850,000 working men and women in the United States and Canada in a wide variety of industries, ranging from glass making to mining, paper, steel, tire and rubber and other manufacturing environments, to the public sector, service and health care industries.