The 2020 Women’s Conference of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) in London concluded on March 6, Friday, with a resolution to advance the rights of women workers in the UK. The conference, ‘Sisters Standing Strong’ began on March 4 and was attended by 150 women delegates representing 34 unions in the country. The conference also resolved to fight for rights to flexible work, employer action on the gender pay gap, higher maternity & paternity pay, a new law to prevent sexual harassment at work, and to end pregnancy & maternity discrimination.
Morning Star reported that delegates from the Communication Workers Union (CWU), Unite the Union, Unison, TSAA etc raised a number of concerns of the working women in the UK and called for “a new deal for women workers today” to counter the problem of women “being corralled into jobs below their skills and abilities.” They noted that 50 years after the adoption of the Equal Pay Act 1970, women are still underrepresented in higher positions and over-represented in low skilled, low paid, part-time and precarious work.
Speakers at the Congress pointed out that women in the country work for free for two months (an average of 63 unpaid days) as a result of the gender pay gap. According to the Office for National Statistics, the average gender pay gap for all employees stands at 17.3%.
The conference also extended solidarity to the women who are on the “front lines of resistance” against Turkey’s brutal regime. The Transport Salaried Staff Association’s (TSSA) Women in Focus convener Sarah-Jane McDonough urged the delegates of the conference to support the cause of women in Turkey. She also announced plans to organize a solidarity event in London with the Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) of Turkey, trade unions and women’s rights groups.