Growing and strengthening west Michigan's middle class
GRAND RAPIDS June 4, 2015– The Kent-Ionia Labor Council (KICLC) invites any women who are interested in having a voice in the greater west Michigan labor movement to join us this coming Tuesday, June 9, for the June meeting of the KICLC Women’s Caucus. We’ll meet at the Kent-Ionia Labor Center, 918 Benjamin NE in Grand Rapids at 5:30pm. Any women, whether or not they belong to a union, are welcome to be a part of the caucus.
The topic for the June meeting is “Should We Be Embracing the F Word? (Feminism).” We’ll kick things off with a video and discussion, followed by additional caucus business and planning.
The KICLC Women’s Caucus held its first meeting last month, where participants discussed goals and exchanged ideas about what they’d like to see a women’s labor group look like.
Jen Steil, a member of the Grand Rapids Employees Independent Union (GREIU) executive board, was one of the women at the May meeting, and hopes to see women soon play a larger role in setting labor’s priorities here in west Michigan.
“I want women to be more active and to realize that if we want a voice, we need to be strong in our numbers,” Steil said.
Lisa Bennett, a member of OPEIU Local 277, was also at the May introductory meeting, and said she is looking forward focusing on workplace issues from a woman’s perspective.
“Women are almost half of the workforce,” said Bennett. “Yet, on average, women continue to earn considerably less than men. I’d like to see more women actively participate in their unions to help in bargaining & negotiating for contracts that will help workers be able to balance work and family.”
Even though women’s workplace issues are often the same as men’s– wages, healthcare, safety and work/life balance– women often don’t occupy leadership positions within their unions, which means the approach to addressing those issues is often male-centric. In addition, fewer people now belong to unions, which means more people are left without a voice on the job. That’s why KICLC leadership is excited about the chance to bring more people– in this case, women (both union and non-union)– into the west Michigan labor community where they can offer real ideas to address problems at work, in their communities and within legislative bodies.
WHAT: Kent-Ionia Labor Council Women’s Caucus meeting. Topic: Should We Be Embracing the F Word? (Feminism)
WHEN: Tuesday, June 9 at 5:30pm.
WHERE: Kent-Ionia Labor Center, 918 Benjamin NE, Grand Rapids. (MAP)
WHO: Any women in west Michigan who support labor’s goals and want to have a voice in the labor movement
MORE INFO: Email Steve at steve@KICLC.org.