Unemployed Women Needed: UUW

August 8, 2017

I would like to paraphrase an expression that was popular among the women’s movement in the 1980’s, I think: I’ve come along way, baby.

Actually it was made popular by a cigarette company, I think, who wanted to lure more women into smoking the cancerous weed.

But over the years, I have come a long way when it comes to work. I am absolutely happy to have been self-employed as a psychic, who specializes in tea leaf reading and tarot, for the last 21 years and to housesit fulltime to make ends meet.

I think God/dess was probably always telling me that 9 to 5 or any other eight hour shift is so wrong for a person like me.

It is probably wrong for many.  This might be the silver lining in the new technology age. With fewer 40 hour week jobs available, more and more of us are following our own passions and creating our own businesses.

I even suspected this in the 1980s but felt I had to go with my left leaning loyalty that made me want to express solidarity with workers’ unions and the 8 hour daily grind:


July 1983

Unemployed Women Needed: UUW

by Tanya Lester

To be unemployed today is an extremely serious problem. But to be unemployed and a woman is even worse.

“Women and minorities are even more disillusioned than white men are with unemployment if you want to put it in those black and white terms,” said Susan Spratt, Equal Rights and Opportunities Committee chairperson of the Union of Unemployed Workers (UUW).

Even when women are employed, Spratt explained, they tend to work in non-unionized, low-paying, ghettoized positions with no pension plans, no health care, and no dental plans.

So when women are fired, they often do not have a union to take up a possible grievance. And because they work at lower paying jobs than men (women, on the average, earn 60 percent less than men), unemployment for women automatically means receiving lower unemployment insurance (UIC) benefits, according to Spratt.

An unemployed man, who was making eight dollars per hour, can hold out for a better job while continuing to receive UIC benefits, while women who worked at a lower salary would be required to accept a lower paying job or be cut off from her benefits.

Spratt fears a rebirth of the 1930’s sentiments that “when unemployment is really high then women shouldn’t be working anyway” and ” really all you’re (women) good for is making babies and making bread”.

For these reasons, Spratt welcomes unemployed women to participate in the UUW. Her plans for the Equal Rights and Opportunities Committee include organizing specific workshops resourced by the Women’s Employment Counselling Center, and Women in Trades. “The big thing is a lot of women don’t know how to get jobs,” she said and added the same types of workshops could be set up for Native and other minority group members of the UUW.

Spratt also wants to develop a support system within the UUW. For example, if a woman is turned down when applying for a job, the group might be able to help her to explore the reasons behind the job rejection and determine whether they were justifiable reasons. If not, the UUW could take action on her behalf.

Although Spratt realizes women might not want to join the UUW because a “union to a lot of women represents patriarchy”, she believes involvement in the UUW cab be a positive experience for both the male and female members. “I think it’s good for men to learn about the problems women and minorities face,” she said

As well, Spratt believes the UUW, being a vocal group, can help women speak out and continue to if they enter a unionized job or in other job situations….


To read more posts in this blog of eclectic stories, go to writingsmall.wordpress.com and tealeaf56.wordpress.com

Tanya can be contacted to give tea leaf readings, tarot, mediumship, etc. by texting or calling her at 250-538-0086 or emailing: tealeaf.56@gmail.com   For more information on what she does as a psychic, reiki master and housesitter go to teareading.wordpress.com

Tanya’s books are Confessions of a Tea Leaf Reader  and Friends I Never Knew (both available through amazon.ca or from the author) as well as Dreams and Tricksters & Women Rights/Writes. All of these books are available in some library systems.











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