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A Woman’s Place Is In Her UNION; A Look At The Women Of Steel

During World War II, men were being shipped overseas and women were called to work in the factories.  Women answered this call and they started a revolution.  Remember Rosie the Riveter?

Rosie The Riveter

This image was created to inspire women to roll up their sleeves and do the work that was typically done by men.  Since this time, women have made huge advances in the workplace.  They should be treated as equals. While we are not there yet, we are progressing closer every day, thanks to unions and the Lily Ledbetter Act.

Susan B. Anthony

Unions have long been a place where women have been treated as equals.  In fact many of the early union organizers were women.  Today marks the anniversary of the death of civil rights activist Susan B. Anthony who famously said “Join the union, girls, and together say Equal Pay for Equal Work.”

This is still the case today.  There are millions of strong union women throughout the country.  It creates a standard for pay that is not based on male or female, only the job you do.  Union give workers a voice in the workplace. This voice is not limited to men.  Women use this voice to become empowered in the workplace.  Their demands may be different from men, but their desire to have their voices heard is the same.

Through unions women have fought and won in areas like equal pay, workplace safety, work hours, and many more.  Through their unions, women were granted maternity leave to have a child without the fear of losing their jobs or being punished for starting a family.

Today that empowerment is being broadcast in an amazing way.  The United Steel Workers Union is showcasing “WOMEN OF STEEL”.  Strong and empowered women are just one more reason a women’s place is truly in her union!

Video 1 A Woman of Steel is……

Video 2 Rose Ann : A Woman of Steel

You Are Better Off Now Than Four Years Ago As New Unemployment Claims Drop

Cross posted with permission from the United Steel Workers Blog

Four years ago, hundreds of thousands of people were applying for unemployment insurance benefits each week.  In the third week of October 2008, nearly half a million people filed initial claims, signaling that they had recently lost their jobs.  By the first quarter of 2009, every week more than 600,000 people were filing initial claims.

 

Now, instead, the labor market is improving.  In the week that ended Oct. 6, the number of workers filing new claims for jobless benefits fell to its lowest level in four and a half years.  More importantly, the number of new unemployment claims has steadily decreased since the spring of 2009.

The number of initial claims is an important indicator of economic health.  It is more precise than looking at the total number of workers who are receiving unemployment benefits because the total can be artificially depressed by workers whose unemployment benefits have run out. The number of new claims measures only those who have recently become unemployed, making it a much more accurate gauge of employment trends.  Reductions in initial claims over the past three years show that the rate of job loss has significantly dropped, meaning the economy is becoming stronger.

Reversing the rising unemployment of four years ago took substantial investment by the federal government.  The economic stimulus, passed in 2009, extended unemployment benefits, which gave furloughed workers additional time to find new jobs and gave them a few more bucks to spend, which, in itself, stimulated the economy. Just as importantly, the stimulus helped curb unemployment by supporting businesses.  $51 billion of the stimulus went toward stabilizing companies affected by the failing economy so that they would not be forced to lay off more workers.

In contrast to four years ago, the unemployment rate is now dropping.  Not only is the number of newly unemployed steadily declining, the number of new jobs is also growing.  There were 3.6 million job openings in August 2012, up 400,000 from August 2011 and up 1.2 million from the end of the recession in 2009.  Businesses have now turned a corner from simply maintaining their current workforces to adding new positions.

Recent trends in initial unemployment claims help explain the falling unemployment rate, which is now the lowest since January 2009.  As the economy continues to recover, fewer businesses feel they need to cut jobs and more are beginning to add them.

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