Union leaders hold equal pay event in Toledo

Union leaders hold equal pay event in Toledo

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - Women gathered at UAW Local 12 Tuesday night to shine a light on the pay gap between men and women in the Toledo-area.

Ohio women make even less than a man on average than most states in the country, 75 cents for every dollar a man makes. And it adds up.

Over a woman's lifetime, she could lose $2 million dollars in income for her family. But these local women want to change that.

The women at the meeting talked about the importance of paying women their worth.

A Fair Pay Act has been in the books since 1963 to help enforce fair pay among male and female workers.

But as the panel discussed, most women still are not paid the same for the same work.

"I think the women of Toledo need to recognize that it's a huge issue in Toledo," said AFSME 3794 President, Sandy Coutcher.

And with more women than ever before as the sole breadwinners for their families, the loss adds up.

"A woman graduates from college, the same grades the same degree as a man, they are already making seven percent less than a man, right out of college," said Michelle Radtkin with the Toledo Chapter of the American Association of University Women.

That's why the American Association of University Women has put on this event for three years.

Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown and Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur are co-sponsoring the Paycheck Fairness Act to enforce and close loopholes in the 1963 Fair Pay Act.

The local female union leaders at the event agree that if workers can discuss what they are paid, women will be empowered to negotiate for what they are worth.

"You've got to stand up for yourself as a female and you've got to believe in what you want to believe in," Coutcher said. "And if you think you can do the job that a man can do, you should get paid for that, at the same rate that a guy gets paid."

A fight they hope to encourage here, one woman at a time.

Since this event started, the AAUW started a college course at the University of Toledo, to teach women how to negotiate a salary when they graduate.

There will also be a free seminar on the same topic, at the All About Money Fair, coming up April 29th at the main branch of the Toledo Public Library.

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