Closing the Gap: The Working People Weekly List

Every week, we bring you a roundup of the top news and commentary about issues and events important to working families. Here’s the latest edition of the Working People Weekly List.

The House Just Passed a Bill to Close the Gender Pay Gap: "House Democrats easily passed the Paycheck Fairness Act on Wednesday—their latest in a long series of attempts to make sure women and men are paid equally. The final vote was 242-187. Democrats were joined by seven Republicans. To give you a sense of how long bill author Rep. Rosa DeLauro (D-CT) has been fighting for this cause, she first introduced the bill in 1997."

Vice Media Agrees to $1.87 Million Settlement for Paying Female Staffers Less Than Men: "Vice has agreed to a $1.875 million deal to resolve a class action lawsuit brought by some of the media company's female workforce. The proposed settlement was quietly submitted for approval to a Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Monday. By the looks of the court papers, Vice was likely saved from paying millions more because the company tends to employ younger women."

Mexico Must Change Labor Laws for USMCA Passage, Trumka Says: "AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka discusses the USMCA trade agreement and its impact on U.S. labor with Bloomberg's Jason Kelly on 'Bloomberg Markets: Balance of Power.'"

Labor Organizers Share Insight and Tips on Unionizing the Game Industry: "There’s been a lot of talk about unionization in the game industry, so today at GDC some union [members] took the stage in front of an audience of game makers to share what they’d learned about effectively organizing labor.  During an hour-long session that was chiefly Q&A, panel members Emma Kinema (Game Workers Unite International), Kevin Gregory Agwaze (Game Workers Unite UK), Linda Dao (SAG-AFTRA), Justin Molito (Writers Guild of America, East) and Liz Shuler of AFL-CIO (which published an open letter encouraging game devs to organize) fielded some notable labor questions from game devs. Shuler jumped in to say that, on the bright side, she’s seen a recent surge in labor organization, citing the recent Marriott workers strike as a good example of how workers can successfully fight for better pay and more protection on the job. 'We’re seeing a movement moment,' she added. 'I think people are discovering that they don’t have to sit back and take it. They can fight back.'"

Unions Step Up Push for $15 Minimum Wage in Congress: "Labor unions and their allies on Tuesday stepped up their push to get Congress to approve a $15-an-hour federal minimum wage, up from the current rate of $7.25, urging rank-and-file members to press their congressmen on the issue. 'Three weeks ago, lawmakers in the House brought that bill one step closer to a floor vote. Now, we’ve got to keep the momentum going,' AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka said in an email to members Tuesday. 'This is our chance to make a $15 per hour minimum wage a reality for ALL workers. Tell your congressperson that raising the wage is a win-win for workers and the economy.'"

Trump Finds Democrats a Tough Sell on NAFTA Replacement: "Critics of the agreement have called for beefing up its labor and environmental protections, as well as ensuring those aspects are actually enforceable in practice. Some Democrats have asked the administration to make changes to the deal, like taking steps to lower prescription drug prices and expand the scope of the new minimum wage requirements. Celeste Drake, the AFL-CIO's top trade and globalization policy guru, will testify before Blumenauer's subcommittee during a hearing on Tuesday morning, alongside representatives from the United Auto Workers, the United Steelworkers, and other key organized labor groups."

Millions of People Can't Afford Medicines. Groups Lead Efforts to Lower Prices: "'Excessively high drug prices and unjustified price increases do not happen by chance, they are the result of deliberate political decisions made in Washington,' said Richard Trumka, president of the AFL-CIO. 'Patients at the pharmacy counter, workers at the bargaining table and their health plans negotiating with pharmaceutical companies are forced to pay the price,' added Trumka."

When We Stand United, We Prevail: What Working People Are Doing This Week: "Welcome to our regular feature, a look at what the various AFL-CIO unions and other working family organizations are doing across the country and beyond. The labor movement is big and active—here's a look at the broad range of activities we're engaged in this week."

Equal Pay for Equal Work: In the States Roundup: "It's time once again to take a look at the ways working people are making progress in the states."

Get to Know AFL-CIO's Affiliates: Train Dispatchers: "In this weekly series, we take a deeper look at each of the AFL-CIO's affiliates. Next up is the American Train Dispatchers Association."

Women's History Month Profiles: Maida Springer Kemp: "For Women's History Month, the AFL-CIO is spotlighting various women who were leaders and activists working at the intersection of civil and labor rights. Today's profile is Maida Springer Kemp."