Women of Steel Conference adjourns
The 2013 Women of Steel Conference concluded last week with contributions from international guests.
Alliance for American Manufacturing (AAM) field coordinator Rachel Bennett Steury reports that women from Mexico, Liberia, the United Kingdom, South Africa, France, and Australia shared their thoughts on women’s issues in their home countries.
Says Bennett Steury:
The Representative from South Africa explained the violence and oppression that women workers in her country face and that until women 'are socially AND economically liberated, that they are not liberated.' Union representatives from Australia, the United Kingdom and Mexico explained that this conference was the biggest gathering of women that they have ever attended and were very happy to have had this opportunity. Blandine Landas, Secretaire Federale for FGMM-CFDT, the General Federation of Mining and Metallurgy, compared her experiences in France to what AAM staff explained in the workshop she attended earlier in the week. She said that the state of manufacturing we described in the US is very similar to what French manufacturing is experiencing. While the US has lost 63,000 factories since 2001, France has lost a total of 450,000 manufacturing jobs since 2008 alone. Landas explained that the automotive and steel industries have been hit particularly hard in recent years. We appreciated Blandine’s participation in our workshop and her interest in US manufacturing. After all, we operate within a global economy. International conferences like this one help give an understanding of how deeply we are all connected.
In addition to AAM's field coordinators, AAM New York site coordinator Diane Pavlik was in attendance. Pavlik had the opportunity to meet Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL) [pictured].
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