TUC urged to take notice of ‘invisible’ women

UNISON vice president Lucia McKeever told the TUC congress in Bournemouth today that a lot of anger would be voiced by delegates this week – and much of it would be from women.

“Of course we all know that this government is so supportive of women and their families, including all the lone parents out there, all the disabled women and Black women, all the women older than 50 and all those young women starting out in the world,” she said.

Speaking in a motion on the impact of government actions on women, she highlighted how, with many more public service redundancies yet to come, women will continue to pay a disproportionately high price for the government’s austerity policies, since “it’s women that account for two thirds of public sector workers”.

On top of that, women also “continue to comprise the bulk of all low-paid workers, with many – far too many – receiving less than the living wage”.

After sketching out further onslaughts against women workers, including moves impacting on rights at work and access to justice, Ms McKeever asked: “When are we going to start taking notice of these ‘invisible’ women? After all, we’re talking about nearly half of our workforce.

“We deserve our hard-won employment rights, we deserve equal pay – it should be there for all, every one of us, from day one of our jobs – and that includes agency workers. Don’t they deserve the same?”

Women in UNISON