But you don’t look 40! And the issues you’re advocating for aren’t much older than yesterday. I mean, aren’t we still seeking fair wages, better-paying jobs, paid sick leave and the end to all forms of sex and gender-identity discrimination in our workplaces?
When the 40-year-old organization 9to5—subtitled “Winning Justice for Working Women”—celebrates its “ruby” anniversary at several upcoming events, it will recharge itself for the battles ahead. But it’s also a time to pat itself on the back for what it’s achieved since 1973 on behalf of U.S. women workers.
Since a group of office workers in Boston first organized the group, 9to5 has been on the frontlines of successful fights for such major national policies as the 1978 Pregnancy Discrimination Act, the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Family Medical Leave Act and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. It has also lobbied at local and state levels for higher wages, civil rights, parental leave and more—”all of which benefit the lowest-paid workers in our communities.” 9to5 even, according to its website, inspired the popular comedy film about mistreated women office workers, 9 to 5, starring Jane Fonda, Dolly Parton and Lily Tomlin.
A national membership organization now headquartered in Milwaukee, 9to5 also maintains local chapters in California, Georgia and Colorado, and each will hold an anniversary event. Tonight, celebrations will be held at RedLine Gallery in Denver (5:30 pm) and Mitchell Domes in Milwaukee (6 pm). On October 2, the Los Angeles chapter will sponsor a happy hour. And on October 15, 9to5 supporters will join forces at Spelman College’s Cosby Auditorium in Atlanta (5:30 pm). Speaking at the Denver and Atlanta events will be Ai-Jen Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and Milwaukee’s speakers will include 9to5 cofounder Karen Nussbaum, who is executive director of Working America and formerly directed the Women’s Bureau of the Dept. of Labor.