The confirmation hearing for President-elect Barack Obama's Labor Secretary nominee Representative Hilda Solis (D-CA), a leader and fighter for women and people of color, ran smoothly Friday. Republican questioning of Solis focused on union issues, particularly organizing rights. According to the Los Angeles Times, many questions focused on a bill that Solis co-sponsored, the Employee Free Choice Act, which would have made it easier for workers to form unions. Solis reportedly refused to comment on the bill because she could not speak for the incoming administration on the matter because she had not spoken with President-elect Obama about it, according to the New York Times.
In the House, Solis is a member of the Energy and Commerce Committee, the Natural Resources Committees, and the House Select Committee of Independence and Global Warming. She is also a former chair of the Congressional Caucus for Women's Issues and she authored a record 17 anti-domestic violence laws as a California State Senator.
In her testimony, Solis discussed the current economic crisis and noted that "families are struggling in the face of wage disparities, which significantly impact women of color. A Latina earns on average 57 cents for every dollar that a man earns. An African-American woman earns just 68 cents for every dollar that a man earns. These wage disparities directly contribute to a cycle of poverty and lower retirement savings and Social Security benefits for women throughout their lifetime."
Media Resources: Feminist Daily Newswire 12/19/08; Testimony of Hilda Solis 9/9/09; LA Times 1/10/09; The New York Times 1/10/09
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .