Feminist Majority supports raising the federal minimum wage for all workers to $15 an hour, and indexing the minimum wage so that it will increase with the cost of living. Agricultural workers and domestic workers should be included in the federal minimum wage protection. An increase in the minimum for tipped workers is also urgently needed and Feminist Majority supports including tipped workers in one federal minimum wage of $15 an hour and indexing this minimum to keep up with inflation. Restaurant servers, who are 71% female, comprise the largest group of all tipped workers and experience almost 3 times the poverty rate of the workforce as a whole. [The restaurant industry is one of the only sectors in which predominantly male positions have a different minimum wage than predominantly female positions: non-tipped workers (52% male) have a federal minimum wage of $7.25, while tipped workers (66% female) have a federal sub-minimum wage of $2.13.]
Feminist Majority supported the American Jobs Act, which was passed and signed into law by President Obama. It prevented up to 280,000 teacher layoffs, reduced employee taxes, created infrastructure jobs repairing and rebuilding roads, railways, bridges, and schools, revamped the unemployment insurance system, and much more. Its goal is to create more jobs and put more money in workers’ pockets without increasing the deficit. See the White House fact sheet for more information.
Feminist Majority was instrumental in changes to the stimulus bill under the Obama administration that saved hundreds of thousands of women’s jobs, particularly teachers, social workers, and other public employees, and we continue to advocate for the right to collective bargaining and against the attacks on public sector workers.
The Feminist Majority supports legislation that creates more jobs, expands job training, and increases wages and benefits for workers. We support unions and collective bargaining rights. If we increased the number of women in unions it would contribute to closing the gender/race pay gap. According to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, “women’s share of union members has increased markedly in the last three decades from 35.5% in 1994 to 45.5% in 2014. Women represented by a union in the United States earn an average of $212 more per week than women in non-union jobs.” According to the National Women’s Law Center, “the overall wage gap for union members is half the size of the wage gap for those not represented by a union.”
Feminist Majority supported legislation to extended emergency unemployment compensation to maintain vital federal unemployment benefits for workers who had been unemployed for more than six months.
Feminist Majority supported passage of the Pathways Back to Work Act of 2013 (S. 1861 and HR 3425) that would provide funding for subsidized employment programs patterned on the successful Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Emergency Contingency Fund that created 260,000 work opportunities for low-income parents and youth in 2009 and 2010.
Feminist Majority urged Congress in 2016 to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Vocational and Technical Education Act, which funds vocational education programs and includes gender equity provisions that are important to women and girls in today’s economy.