Frequently Asked Questions

WOWFED is the uniting force of women in the workplace, advocating for their rights, cultivating relationships in organizations, and providing valuable resources to build relationships for the greater good.

Board Members

Kanya Ellington

Kanya Ellington, M.S.

President

Anabel Pena

Anabel Pena

Treasurer

Samantha Rivera

Samantha Rivera

Secretary

Belen Sanchez

Belen Sanchez

Board Member

Hema Majeno

Hema Majeno

Board Member

Linn Benitez

Linn Benitez

Board Member

What do Unions do?

Unions are the principal means for workers to organize and protect their rights on the job. The union contract or “collective bargaining agreement” establishes the basic terms and conditions of work. Unions give workers a voice with employers and provide the means to gain a measure of security and dignity on the job. Most unions maintain a paid professional staff to manage their activities. Unions pursue strategies and activities that serve the interests of their members. These include representing members and negotiating with employers, recruiting new members, and engaging in political action when necessary to support policies that improve working conditions for all workers.

What is Collective Bargaining?

Collective Bargaining, covers a wide variety of subjects and involves hundreds of thousands of union members in the process. Representatives of labor and management negotiate over wages, benefits, hours, and working conditions. The settlement reached is spelled out in a written document or contract. The contract normally contains a grievance procedure to settle disputes. It is the union’s responsibility to enforce the contract on behalf of the members. It has not been easy to establish collective bargaining as a permanent part of American life. The efforts of unions to establish the concept of collective bargaining are a little known, but very important part of American history, involving great sacrifice and bitter struggle. Historically, management took the position that because they owned the means of production, they had the sole right to determine the conditions of employment. Collective Bargaining forms the cornerstone of industrial democracy.

Why Join a Labor Union?

As a worker, you have a federally guaranteed right to form or join a union and bargain collectively with your employer. WOWFED organizers and/or stewards are the representatives of the union that helps workers deal with unsafe working conditions, irregular hours, discrimination, sexual harassment, and other workplace issues. This helps balance the power that an employer has over individual employees. Belonging to a union gives you rights under the law that you do not have as an individual. Once you have formed a union, your employer must bargain with your union over your wages, benefits, hours, and working conditions. Union workers, on average, earn higher wages and get more benefits than workers who are not represented by a union.

WOWFED works to advocate for equal pay and safe, respectful working conditions for everyone.  One way that we do this is through the WOWFED Gender Equity Certification Program.  We recognize that working conditions represent the culmination of efforts of employers, managers, staff, and consumers.  To improve the working conditions for everyone, we use a comprehensive approach that includes statistical analysis of HR data and a survey of all staff.  This approach empowers employers and management to assess their own practices and systems of hiring, salary, promotion, evaluation, and retention of all employees.  Our program provides a means for organizations to objectively and systematically see whether their current practices are working to ensure fairness in hiring, pay, promotion, and development for everyone while complying with state and federal anti-discrimination laws.