Women's Organizing Committee

Our History

The Women’s Organizing Committee (WOC) of Local 375 came to life during the 1980’s, a time in which women were less than 5% of the Local’s membership.

In creating the Committee, its founding members sought to create a space where women members of the Local could come together in solidarity and share experiences that they were having on the shop floor.


During the 1980’s, the majority of the City’s workforce in the fields of engineering and science were men.  As a result, women working for the City in these professions often felt isolated and invisible.


Eleanor Eastman, one of the founding members of the committee was a chemist working in a Lab with some thirty men and one other woman.  While Eleanor and her sister colleague were close and supported each other on the shop floor, both of them spoke often of the solitude or detachment that they felt being the only two women at their Lab.  They knew that there were other woman chemists working for the City and they were eager to have an opportunity to connect with those women and share experiences. With the goal of connecting the women of Local 375 to one another and organizing them to become a viable voice for the women of the Local, a group of women approached then Local 375 president, Lou Albano with the idea of forming the Committee.

Initially, the Local’s all-male Executive Board was hesitant to support the idea.  The men couldn’t understand why the women would want a Committee just for themselves.  However, President Albano was open to the idea and with his progressive support the Women’s Organizing Committee was born.

Our  Mission statement

The mission of the Women’s Organizing Committee is to empower women; build membership among Local 375 members and to provide leadership training, assistance and  support among our women by educating, promoting, and participating in cultural, social, civic and educational activities.

Organizing

We stand in solidarity as we organize our sister and brother allies around our equal rights, dignity and fair treatment in the workplace:

  • a respect for workers;
  •  the belief that all workers’ rights are civil rights, Human rights, and Women’s Rights;
  • the  breakdown of all barriers to access, inclusion, independence and full freedoms of a quality of life, employment, economy
  • and culture;
  • the belief  in a fair expression of true democracy, everyone should have the right to vote;
  • a belief in gender justice with a power to control our bodies, free of stereotypes and any type of discrimination;
  • we want protection and respect for LGBTQ rights, employment, education, housing and a safe space;
  • we believe in equal pay for equal work and the right of all sisters to be paid respectably and equitably;
  •  we believe that Mother Earth must be protected and that our land and natural resources cannot be exploited by corporate greed and profits.

Growing Women Leaders

We have strengthened, increased, and supported our Sisters in Leadership roles that have allowed them to: campaign, succeed in elections, and sit as DC 37 Executive V.P, Local Executive Board Officers; Delegates to DC 37; the Central Labor Council; and District Leaders in their community.

Our Sisters have applied their passion and Labor/Management skills in the role of Facilitator, Supervisor, and Local Grievance/Disciplinary Representative. We assist in Contract Administration.

Our Sisters have assumed the responsibility of Chapter President, Officers within their agencies; and sit on diverse Committees in DC 37 and our Local. Women’s Organizing, Next Wave, Privatization, Health & Safety, Education, CBTU, CLUW, to name a few; serving these roles have motivated, inspired and unified our organization.