New Jersey — As the first-ever female garment workers’ center opened on Sunday in Jersey City, the movement has been hailed as a model for other cities to follow.
The New Jersey-based Workers World Party, which is calling for the removal of “surgical restraints” and the dismantling of the industry’s “pervasive patriarchal system,” plans to hold its first strike for three months in January.
“Women’s liberation is here.
Women are fighting for their rights, and their rights matter,” said New Jersey’s secretary of labor, John Wachter.”
These women are fighting on behalf of the entire labor force, and not just the working class,” Wachner added.
The strike is also a demonstration against the fact that women are not paid equally.
The strike is part of a broader struggle to demand better wages, benefits and working conditions for the women who make up the majority of garment workers in New York, New Jersey and other cities.
The movement is also calling for better treatment of women in the garment industry.
The movement has come to New Jersey as the country continues to grapple with an economic downturn, which has caused factories and warehouses to shut down, with some of the closures forcing thousands of people to relocate.
In a recent report, the New York Times noted that women made up about 60 percent of the garment workers employed in the city.
While the New Jersey strike will begin as a demonstration, the broader movement is calling on all workers to join the action.
“We need to have a full conversation about how we want to organize ourselves,” said Melissa Kuznia, a former garment worker who lives in New Brunswick.
“We’re the ones that have to make the choices about how the industry is run.
We’re the one who have to say, ‘Is this what I want?'”
Kuznia said the strike will take place in front of the local textile mill, and will be “invisible” in order to draw attention to the issues of wage disparity and workplace harassment.
“It’s a huge issue, and it’s going to be the focus of the movement,” Kuznias said.
Kuznia and other women who have joined the movement have been on strike for months.
The group has also begun organizing on Facebook, calling for all workers, including women, to join them in a solidarity rally on March 6.
Kazia and the others are hoping to get enough support to hold the strike.
“I’m just so excited to be a part of this and just to have the chance to go into the building and see people,” Kiznia said.