HOUSTON: On Human Rights Day: Support Domestic Worker Rights

At the Worker Center in Houston we are hosting a workshop for domestic workers on negociation as part of the International Day of Action for Domestic Workers’ Rights! Read more below….

On International Human Rights Day

Please Support Domestic Workers Organizing for Rights and Respect

Today the National Domestic Worker Alliance joins domestic workers around the world to demand rights and respect from the local to the international level. We hope you will endorse our campaigns to win labor standards through state legislation, federal Department of Labor reforms, and the creation of an ILO Convention on domestic work.

Domestic Workers are nannies, elderly companions, and housekeepers. The vast majority are immigrant women of color.Without the work of domestic workers the economy would grind to a halt. Domestic workers support their families and enable many sectors of professionals to work and have leisure time. Yet, the workforce is among the most vulnerable, suffering some of the most egregious abuses faced by any workforce. Domestic workers migrate in search of means to support their families and alternatives to the poverty faced by nations of the global South. Due to ongoing racial and gender inequality in the labor market, linked to the history of slavery, domestic workers remain excluded—by law—from almost all labor protections. From NY to CA, from the US Department of Labor to the ILO—domestic workers are proposing concrete policy solutions to ensure basic labor protections for this work that makes all other work possible.

“It is better for everyone to live in a society that pays attention to human rights, rather than one that ignores human rights. " Explains Juanita Flores, former domestic worker, Co-Director of Mujeres Unidas y Activas, and leader in the National Domestic Worker Alliance, "Our employers and society as a whole benefit when we are treated with dignity and respect.”

International Labor Organization Decent Worker for Domestic Workers Convention

On International Human Rights Day we join with other members of the International Domestic Worker Network to launch a campaign to create international labor standards for domestic work through the passage of an ILO (International Labor Organization) Convention on Domestic Work. The ILO is the organization that sets standards on international labor rights, and monitors how they are implemented. In June 2010 and 2011, the ILO will debate and adopt an international standard setting out the rights of domestic workers. The National Domestic Worker Alliance is organizing with domestic workers around the world to win a strong ILO Convention with the standards and protections this workforce so desperately needs. Click here to learn more and endorse.

Regulatory Reforms at the US Department of Labor

The National Domestic Worker Alliance is collectively organizing to demand basic protection under US federal labor law. Over the past century, the United States has improved federal labor standards in order to guarantee that all workers are paid fair wages; able to work under safe and healthy conditions; protected from discriminatory and abusive treatment; and equipped with the right to engage in collective bargaining. However, domestic workers consistently have been excluded from these most basic workplace protections. The U.S. Department of Labor has the opportunity to bring domestic workers out of the shadows and under the protection of meaningful, enforceable workplace regulations. We are asking the Department of Labor to reform regulations to 1) Require employers to keep records of hours worked by live-in workers, 2) Ensure adequate room and board for live-in workers and set a maximum amount that can be deducted from pay, 3) Compensate live-in workers when they are asked to be responsible for their charge(s) during their sleep hours, and 4) Create a Domestic Work Bureau within the DOL. Click here to learn more and endorse.

CA and NY Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights

In California and NY coalitions of domestic worker organizations are fighting for a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights, statewide legislative proposals put forward by domestic workers for domestic workers, that would provide recognition as a real workforce and a set of basic protections based on the unique conditions facing domestic workers working in the private home. Click here to learn more and endorse.

Thank you for your support and solidarity. Worker and immigrant rights are human rights!

¡Si Se Puede!

National Domestic Worker Alliance




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