Today, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Fairfield, CA) welcomed a delegation of Northern California “Rosie the Riveters” to the United States Capitol, including Fairfield residents Catherine “Kay” Morrison and Marian Wynn. During World War II, women entered the workforce in unprecedented numbers, supported the global fight against fascism through work at armament factories, and earned this moniker through service to our nation.
Congressman Garamendi participated in a ceremony honoring the Rosies and expressed his deep appreciation, saying, “Thank you to Kay, Marian, and all ‘Rosie the Riveters’ for reminding us of the remarkable role that women played in World War II and in strengthening our workforce. You sacrificed enormously and your work propelled this nation a major step toward justice. I will continue to fight for a basic principle that you made amply clear: Women deserve equal pay for equal work.”
The delegation told their stories of working at factories during World War II. They related tales of encountering discrimination, specifically a “No Blacks, No Women” policy – despite ubiquitous signs of Uncle Sam saying “We need You!” Activists had this policy changed during the war. The Rosie delegation all now volunteer at the “Rosie the Riveter/ WWII Home Front National Historical Park” in Richmond, California.
Both Kay and Marian were welders in Richmond during the war. Kay, who is originally from Chico, said she was given insufficient two-week training at the factory that only equipped her to be a “tacker.” She took extra training to expand her skill set. Because she took this initiative, Kay passed the skills test on the first try. Similarly, Marian worked every weekend she could at the factory to get overtime pay to help support her family.
Congressman Garamendi’s staff gave Kay and Marian a personal tour of the Capitol. The Congressman is a Member of the Armed Services Committee, represents Travis and Beale Air Force Bases in Congress, and is the son of a World War II Army Major. Garamendi is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act and the Fair Minimum Wage Act, which would significantly narrow the gender wage gap. He is also a proud supporter the House Democrats’ Women’s Economic Agenda.