fbpx Press "Enter" to skip to content

Women Build Nations Empowers The Future

Women Build Nations may seem a formidable title for the amazing annual event that brings together the women of the union building trades.  From October 12-14th, 2018, 2300 women ascended into Seattle to celebrate their annual Women Build Nations conference.  It hosts women from across the world to represent their trade.  Boilermakers from Ohio, Carpenters from Boston, Laborers from Chicago, Scaffolders from Los Angeles, Masons from New York and a host of trades women from Oregon to name a few.  It’s an incredible event that blends trades and life experiences of women.  The days are filled with empowering plenaries and class sessions on work, gender, social and legal issues.  Even though women are only 9% of the building trades, they are strong, resilient and always ready to learn.  Though they may be the toughest women around, they have similar stories of average American women.  The trades have been and will continue to be one of the only places where equal means equal.

This past weekend, October 12-14th, 2018, 2300 women ascended into Seattle to celebrate their annual Women Build Nations conference.  It hosts women from across the world to represent their trade.  Boilermakers from Ohio, Carpenters from Boston, Laborers from Chicago, Scaffolders from Los Angeles, Masons from New York and a host of trades women from Oregon to name a few.  It’s an incredible event that blends trades and life experiences of women.  The days are filled with empowering plenaries and class sessions on work, gender, social and legal issues.  Even though women are only 9% of the building trades, they are strong, resilient and always ready to learn.  Though they may be the toughest women around, they have similar stories of average American women.

Not Your Average Response

Tradeswomen converge to learn in class sessions how to deal with sexual harassment.  The options presented for tradeswomen are different than in America’s schools, boardrooms or corporations.  They are taught to communicate offenses to the aggressors and bosses rather than an immediate filing with the EEOC.  You see, every job they go to there will be a form of sexual harassment.  Even though most people would just say, too bad for the guy that did it, could you imagine the amount of men that would lose their jobs if they jumped up and filed every time?  What contractor would hire women if they knew they were going to be sued?  The social versus legal aspects of sexual harassment are weighed heavily to a level of indoctrination.  Discussions include on how to emotionally “handle” Playboy magazines on the job, nasty notes on the port-o-pot walls and more.  When you need your job and are trained, certified and experienced, protesting at the Capital or filing every cat call isn’t going to get you paid.  At least not in the trades.

I Gotcha Sister

The typical woman in a building trade will rarely see a large group of women working on the same site.  There are normally a few or just a single woman per site.  These women lack a cohesive bond to anyone as they are treated as the outsiders.  Women’s committees are encouraged at the conference sessions.  A foundation group navigating everything from a layoff to pregnancy.  If they have questions, other women have most likely experienced it on one of their jobs.  These aren’t water cooler sessions or bathroom gossip.  These committees host fundraisers for various causes, community events and more as a supportive measure for women to express themselves as trades workers.  They are a great way to expose others to inclusivity in the trades.

Not Your Average Christmas Party

Have you ever gone to the work Christmas party and thought,” wow, how do I even work here?”  The conference’s caucus meetings and dinners are far from anything like that. They are a collective admission of sisterhood and support.  Caucus members discuss national issues as each woman is from a different area.  For example the LiUNA caucus had over 100 women from across the nation.  They share their experiences from different parts of the nation to enlighten the upper echelons.  An Ohio Laborer may encounter stagnant hazard rules while another sister from Oakland may encounter something similar.  The international’s management reports a possible pattern of work site hazards as they recall the caucus discussions.  A concrete sisterhood is created.

You Better “Act Up”

Sessions built on teaching women the proper way to act up in public are fierce.  These women are taught how to organize to protest, successfully submit petitions, formally launch campaigns and more.  They are asked for their commitment to vote, get out the vote, be the candidate and get active in any way they can.  They are instructed on the rights of strikers, lock outs and civil disobedience.

Never Conclude

As an instructor in one of these sessions at the conference I am always endeared, amazed and encouraged by my sisters reactions to getting politically and socially active.  My sisters take a pledge before leaving the session to become active in their union every month in whatever capacity is possible.  Yes, even reading a book is a great pledge as knowledge is power.  Below you can find the pdf to share with every sister you can find.  Let’s keep taking the pledge to continue building nations!

Please contact me with any questions or guidance on this session, pledge and resources at politicalstarnews@gmail.com.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1SHcXvtNw3-Cln674pASezajeREncoiyFr7IjduKH0Nw/edit?usp=sharing

Love ya Sisters!!!!

 

Visits: 396

Be First to Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *