Louisiana Families Face Second-Largest Wage Gap in the Nation
Westwego — Today working women gathered at the United Steelworkers hall to demand an explanation from Congressman Bill Cassidy on his votes against equal pay for women. While in Congress, Cassidy voted against the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act and the Paycheck Fairness Act, despite Louisiana women earning only 67 cents to the dollar in comparison to men in the state and experiencing the second-worst wage gap in the nation.
“Senator Landrieu proudly supported equal pay and paycheck fairness in the Senate, because she understands that Louisiana families feel the effects of egregious wage disparities and wage discrimination,” said New Orleans Councilwoman Susan Guidry. “We cannot have Congressman Cassidy smile and ask us for our money and votes back home when he wants to make it harder to earn those same dollars in Washington.”
In the Senate, Sen. Landrieu co-sponsored the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act that enables women to fight for equal pay for equal work and co-sponsored the Paycheck Fairness Act, which would prevent wage discrimination.
“Congressman Cassidy’s votes against equal pay affect the whole standard of living in our state,” said Rosalind Cook, professor at Newcomb College Institute of Tulane University. “Equal pay isn’t just a women’s issue; it affects the whole family when breadwinners are getting shortchanged.”
About 61 percent of Louisiana women are the sole or primary wage earners in their families.
“As a working woman, I cannot support Bill Cassidy because he stands against my family’s best interests,” said Charlotte Anderson, coordinator of the USW Local 13-447 “Women of Steel” group. “Wage disparities start early on; imagine over a lifetime how much money is left on the table for us.”
An American Association of University Women (AAUW) study showed that the gender pay gaps began early and exist among men and women just out of college.