Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) and his fellow Progressive Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) shamed Republicans last week for blocking the Paycheck Fairness for Women Act.
The bill expands on the Equal Pay Act of 1963 and the more recent Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, by requiring employers to provide a reason for pay gaps when asked, and prevent companies from retaliating against employees who discuss their salaries.
“The idea that a woman would be paid less than a man for the same work is grossly unfair,” Ellison said in a release. “Why would anyone subvert the democratic process to pay women less than men? Women lose significant income during their lifetimes due to pay inequity. This unfairness extends to the children, elderly parents and families who rely on women for support. This unequal treatment has to end.”
Ellison Asks For Sugar Company's Careful Listening in Labor Dispute
For 10 months union workers and company leaders at American Crystal Sugar in Moorhead, MN have been deadlocked in contract negotiations.
More negotiations were scheduled for Friday, June 8 and Ellison addressed the issue on the U.S. House floor two days before.
"These workers didn't go on strike. They've been locked out. ... They've actually stood up and gone to bat for the company," Ellison said in his speech. "I commend both labor and management for getting back to the table. ... I urge management to listen carefully to the pleas of these workers and to come up with a fair settlement."
However, the Pioneer Press reported the Friday meeting failed to make any progress and the two sides still remained far apart in their positions.
Click "play" on the YouTube video to see Ellison's full speech.
Candidate Filing Ends
Three candidates filed by last Tuesday's deadline to run against Ellison this November. Marines veteran Chris Fields was the lone Republican to file, while Gary Boisclair and Gregg A. Iverson joined Ellison on the DFL side.
The three DFLers will face off in an Aug. 14 primary election to determine who will face Fields in the Nov. 6 general election.