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United States: joins the Equal Pay International Coalition
Planet Labor, 21 September 2021, n°12689 - www.planetlabor.com

The United States has just joined the Equal Pay International Coalition (EPIC), an initiative led by the ILO (International Labour Organization), UN Women, and the OECD, the mission of which is to achieve equal pay for women and men for work of equal value by 2030. Although US President John F. Kennedy signed the Equality Act into law on 10 June 1963, nearly 60 years later in 2021, an 18%-20% pay gap still exists between both genders. According to the Department of Labor, this gap is even wider in black and Hispanic cohorts (37% and 44.6% respectively). In joining EPIC, the U.S. can draw on the expertise and experience of other coalition members to advance equal pay. Wendy Chun Hoon, director of the Women’s Bureau at the Department of Labor, while committed to fighting discrimination has few resources at her disposal. However, draft legislation currently under consideration could advance the cause. The $3.5 trillion infrastructure project, which includes a ‘build local, hire local’ component, could, among other things, give women access to the construction, electrical and plumbing trades, which in themselves pay rather well.