ATLANTA, Ga. (CW69 News, 10 p.m.) — U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh joins Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and community leaders in Atlanta for roundtable discussions on the gender pay gap, low wages and other labor issues. He also drew attention to the Biden Administration’s Better Return Agenda as a solution.
Walsh and Bottoms received information from various organizations about the challenges women face in the workforce. “Even before the pandemic, low wages and a lack of other support have caused childcare teachers to leave the profession,” said Mindy Binderman, executive director of the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students. “The few women we worked with had to actively choose between paying for the medication or putting food on the table,” said Shante Wolfe, campaign director for Caring Across Generations. “I just want to encourage you to make sure it’s just paid leave because we work so hard,” said Reverend Harriet Bradley, a home care advocate and member of Caring Across Generations.
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They talked about how COVID-19 has exacerbated low wages and the gender pay gap. “Georgia is on the minds of the White House and your voices are very important,” Bottoms said. He shared some statistics showing that women are paid 82 percent of what White men are paid in the workforce. “We have to treat people with respect and create pathways in the middle class,” Walsh said. He urges Congress to pass the Build Better agenda, saying it will help resolve the Issues. “Atlanta is one of the key cities in our country where we need to support the Build Back Better agenda in job training, workforce development,” he said. “The great thing about having the secretary here is that she served as mayor for seven years, so she understands the needs of our communities,” Bottoms said.
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Walsh’s speeches on low wages and labor complaints continued at International Fellowship of Electrical Workers Local 613. “We should not wait until we receive a complaint about Wages and Hours of Work to resolve these issues,” he said, referring to a discussion on the complaints. Received by the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.
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As workforce challenges persist, so do calls to pass federal laws as a solution.