Here's an amazing story from England. The issue of equal pay has moved to another phase. It's no longer enough to have equal pay for the same work. The demand now is for an overall equal outcome: the system is to be rejigged so that women end up earning as much as men.
This has led to an extraordinary situation in Leeds. Refuse collectors there have been paid a salary of 18,000 pounds - about $32,000 Australian dollars or $29,000 US dollars - a low wage by Australian standards.
The Leeds Council has been required by equal pay legislation to reclassify work so that women end up earning the same as men. The result? The mostly male refuse workers were asked to take a massive pay cut of 25%. They would end up earning only 13,500 pounds - less than $25,000 Australian dollars.
In return, dinner ladies would be paid slightly more than they are now - but in general the demand for equal pay is to be achieved by cutting the male wage rather than by raising the wages of women.
Not surprisingly, the binmen have refused to accept the large pay cut and have been on strike for a month.
This is another example of how conditions for many men are eroding in modern society. Andrew Beveridge has provided data showing that between 1970 and 2005, real female wages in America increased from 67% to 89% of real male wages. This might sound like a gain for women workers - but it's not. The increase was not due to real female wages rising - they didn't - but to a fall in the male wage. This doesn't help women at all as it makes it more difficult for men to earn a living wage to support their families.