Monday, April 27, 2009

It is possible that "domestic workers" are the most exploited class of workers in many societies, and it is generally true that they lack the protections that others often take for granted. The Jobs with Justice coalition in the USA is aiming to change this. Here's the story of their efforts.

Support Domestic Workers!:‏
Every day, 200,000 domestic workers in New York, mostly women of color, make it possible for others to work. But these nannies, elderly caregivers, and housekeepers are excluded from the most basic labor laws (including the National Labor Relations Act), and isolated with no power or leverage to negotiate. They endure long hours, low wages and sometimes emotional and physical abuse.
New York State is considering historic legislation that would provide protections to domestic workers for the first time! The New York Domestic Workers Bill of Rights is the first of its kind nationally and will set a precedent for labor standards for domestic workers around the country. Email NY decision-makers today and let them know you're watching! Tell them you want New York to set the bar for your state!
In the wake of the economic crisis, the conditions facing domestic workers have worsened. Facing alarming rates of lay-offs, cut wages and extended hours, without notice, severance pay or any safety net, now more than ever - domestic workers need the Bill of Rights.
For 5 years, domestic workers have come together across communities to organize for dignity and respect, and demand the passage of a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in New York State,which would include:
- Notice of termination
- Severance pay, sick days and holidays, and
- An annual cost of living wage increase.
In the last two months, both the New York Assembly and Senate Labor Committees have passed the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights out of committee. This is the moment we've been waiting for.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance, an alliance of domestic workers organizations in 10 cities across the country, will co-sponsor the week of action and send delegates to stand with New York's domestic workers. Join the week of action and support domestic workers to reverse a long history of injustice and exploitation, and chart a future based on respect and dignity for all work.
For more information, contact:
1201 Broadway
Suite 907-908
212.481.5747 (ph)
You can take action on this alert either via email (please see directions below) or via the web at:
Visit the web address below to tell your friends about this.
We encourage you to take action by May 27, 2009 Support Domestic Workers! INSTRUCTIONS TO RESPOND VIA THE WEB:
If you have access to a web browser, you can take action on this alert by going to the following URL:
Just choose the "reply to sender" option on your email program. Your letter will be addressed and sent to:
Assembly Member Sheldon Silver
Assembly Member Susan John
Senator George Onorato
Senator Malcolm Smith
Dear [decision maker name automatically inserted here],
I'm contacting you to urge you to help pass the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, Bill numbers A1470/S2311 this legislative session.
On Tuesday April 28th, hundreds of domestic workers and their supporters from around the country will come to Albany for a day of action and education. Please work with them to pass the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights! Domestic workers and allies around the country are watching what happens in New York.
We need New York to set a strong precedent for labor standards for domestic workers in my state.

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