As its way of marking Labor Day, the National Commission on Working Women (NCWW) is promoting the motto: "Working women: from pedestal . . . to platform."
While President Carter picnics today with labor leaders in the Rose Garden, women carpenters will construct a platform across the street at the 1:30 p.m. Lafayette Park rally. Actress Linda ("Alice") Lavin will help announce the planks in the 1980 WorkingWoman's Platform, hammered out by NCWW, the Coalition of Labor Union Women, the Displaced Homemakers Network and Wider Opportunities for Women. "It started in June when a group of us were sitting around my living room," recalls Joan Goodin, NCWW executive director. "We were lamenting the fact that the presidential candidates and their parties are not responding to the concerns of working women. So we decided to come up with a platform of our own."
That brainstorming session resulted in a platform of 15 "planks" that the activists considered most crucial to the country's 43 million working women.
"We chose Labor Day as the perfect time to present it." says NCWW spokeswoman Deborah Ziska, "because that's traditionally a time when laborers, mostly male, meet and discuss common problems as a show of strength and solidarity.
"Although the numbers of working women will continue to grow in the '80s, recognition of their rights and needs as workers lags far behind the attention given in the concerns of male workers."
Here are the planks:
1. Recognition -- a majority of women are working outside the home, and most work out of econimic need. In 1979, almost two-thirds of all women in the labor force were single, widowed, divorced or separated, or had husbands who earned less than $10,000.
2. Minority Women -- address the special needs, concerns and problems of minority women, who have the lowest median income and the highest unemployment rate.
3. Job options -- Eliminate job segregation by sex. Eighty percent of women in the work force are concentrated in low-paying clerical, sales, service, factory and plant jobs. Women represented less than 10 percent of all skilled workers and less than 5 percent of all top managers.
4. Wages -- End wage discrimination by sex. Women earn roughly 50 cents for every dollar men earn. In 1977, the average clerical worker's salary was $8,601 for females and $13,633 for males.
5. Education and training -- Eliminate barriers to equity in all publicly-funded educational, employment and training programs.
6. Employment Programs -- Expand and create special programs to improve employment for all women, including women on welfare, displaced homemakers, older and handicapped women. Three-fourths of all people living in poverty are female.
7. enforcement -- Enforce laws and regulations mandating equal employment opportunities for women, including the equal-pay and age-discrimination acts.
8. Health and Safety -- Promote healthy, safe, working conditions. Workers in clerical jobs rank second-highest as victims of stress-related diseases, and an estimated 20 million jobs involve exposure to possible reproductive hazards.
9. Sexual Harrassment -- Maintain work environments free of sexual harassment and intimidation. Surveys report 60 to 75 percent of women questioned experienced sexual harassment on the job. $ 10. Dependent Care -- Provide accessible quality care for children, elderly and handicapped dependents. Only 1.6 million licensed day-care slots are available for 6.9 millon children under 6 with working mothers. $ 11. Organizing -- Support the organization of women workers and strength their roles and participation in labor unions. $ 12. Homemaking -- Recognize homemakers as an important segment of the country's labor force. Although homemakers contribute to the national economy -- through unpaid labor in the home -- they receive no Social Security or other benefits.
13. Benefits -- Promote equitable benefits for women, including pensions, paid maternity leave, Social Security, health care and health insurance. Only 20 percent of women in the private labor force are covered by pensions.
14. Work Schedules -- Promote alternative work schedules, including flextime, part-time and job sharing with appropriate benefits.
15. Public Policy -- Promote participation of women in formulating and evaluating public policy affecting employment.