In an effort to appease business interests, the Senate Republicans unanimously opposed passing the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would have narrowed the pay gap between men and women. The bill fell short by two votes, 58-41.
Right now there is an oft-repeated 77-cent-to-a-dollar pay gap between men and women. The gap between mothers and non-mothers is even greater, which is why we are very disappointed at MomsRising.org. Here is an e-mail recently sent by our co-founder Kristin Rowe-Finkbeiner:
The Paycheck Fairness Act was (and is) sorely needed to update the Equal Pay Act, which passed in 1963, and doesn’t reflect modern realities of a labor force that’s 50% women. Right now women make 77 cents to every dollar made by men and the pay gap has been narrowing by less than half a percent a year.  That means at this rate the pay gap won’t close until 2057. Forty-seven years from now! With more and more families depending on moms’ paychecks, American families simply cannot afford to wait that long.
Sign on to our short letter to all the Senators who voted against the Paycheck Fairness Act asking them to explain to their daughters, and ours, why in 2010 women don’t deserve the right to equal pay for equal work.
I did a quick google search on the Paycheck Fairness Act, and was disappointed that hardly any news organizations covered it. But there was plenty of gloating by the business community. Here is what one HR newsletter had to say:
Employers can breathe a little easier. The Paycheck Fairness Act — which one labor attorney said had “the potential to cripple companies, particularly smaller businesses” — has been scuttled.
My reaction? Eff you. This is about protecting BIG BUSINESSES who donated handsomely to the coffers of the Republican Party to kill this bill. It is unconscionable that in the 21st century, paying women for the same jobs that men do still sparks raucous debate and is somehow responsible for the crippling of our economy. As the mother of a daughter, I am saddened that gender bias in the workplace still exists. Otherwise, why would the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and its ilk spend so much time and money to fight it?
What will it take for us to achieve equal pay for equal work in this country?
In related news, private health insurance companies gave the U.S. Chamber of Commerce $86.2 million to fight healthcare reform legislation, namely a government-run public option to compete with them, according to Bloomberg News.