UltraViolet Protesting RIGHT NOW at Macy’s Herald Square: “Stop Blocking Equal Pay!”

by Melanie Mignucci

Happening RIGHT NOW at Macy’s Herald Square: the anti-sexism protest group UltraViolet is gathering outside of the iconic Macy’s location to protest the company’s continued lobbying – and you won’t believe this – against equal pay for women.

A bill mandating equal pay for equal work passed through Texas legislature – which is a miracle of itself – but Governor Rick Perry vetoed the bill at Macy’s behest, according to the Huffington Post. 

The bill would have brought Texas into the 21st century and in line with the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act, which makes it easier for women to sue their employers over discriminatory policies. 

In Governor Perry’s veto statement, he declared the bill redundant, saying that it “duplicates federal law, which already allows employees who feel they have been discriminated against through compensation to file a claim with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission,” which is, frankly, some bullshit.

Macy’s went so far as to imply that the bill was “unnecessary” for the above reason, according to an UltraViolet press release. “Macy’s can’t undermine women’s right to equal pay for equal work and expect to keep women’s business at the same time,” said the press release in its call to boycott. A petition calling on Macy’s to apologize that circulated via UltraViolet’s website garnered 80,398 signatures. 

“We urge Macy’s leadership to renounce their efforts to block equal pay, apologize, and publicly commit to never blocking such legislation again,” said Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet. 

UltraViolet’s efforts have previously succeeded in getting the rapper Rick Ross dropped from a Reebok’s endorsement for his implicit support of rape culture. In the Rocko song “U.O.E.N.O.,” Ross raps about putting MDMA in a girl’s champagne to drug her, then having sex with her without her knowledge. Understandably, some people had a problem with this.

In April, Reebok finally dropped Ross from their roster of spokespeople, after a non-apology from both Ross and the company, drawing praise from UltraViolet and other anti-sexism groups.

Scroll through exclusive photos from the event, taking place right now at Macy’s Herald Square in NYC.

Update: UltraViolet tried to get inside Macy’s to distribute firsthand accounts of women affected by unequal pay, but were denied access; the protest dispersed after that.

More UltraViolet coverage from BUST:

Dear Reebok: Dump Rick Ross!

UltraViolet Wishes You a Happy, Non-Sexist Holiday

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