- Founded in 2000, Domestic Workers United [DWU] is an organization of Caribbean, Latina and African nannies, housekeepers, and elderly caregivers in New York, organizing for power, respect, fair labor standards and to help build a movement to end exploitation and oppression for all. DWU is a proud founding member of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. DWU and its partners brought their power to bear in 2010 when the nation's first Domestic Workers Bill of Rights was passed in New York.
January 29, 2013
How to Right a Historic Wrong: Domestic Workers and Employers Come Together in the First “Kitchen Table Dialogues”
Jennifer: "I see my role, my job as one that extends love towards those I care for. I really love to care for kids."
Allison: "Other people's kids become my kids. My role is to make sure kids grow up happy."
Sylvia: "Children must be raised with a lot of love. I give them a lot of love. I love children; I love my job."
Like Jennifer, Allison, and Sylvia, in the two decades I cared for children, I learned that my role as caregiver is a vital one, in which I became not only a key cog in the works that kept the family running smoothly, but also had both the responsibility and reward of nurturing and supporting children that became an important part in my own life. This first meeting highlighted the ways in which we, the workers, perceive our jobs as more than jobs; in reality, domestic workers become both teachers and co-parents. As caregivers, we share with our employers the value of high quality care for children. These first Kitchen Table Dialogues opened the door to discussing our shared values, and how these can evolve into goals that can be accomplished by all parties jointly. The unity of domestic workers, working hand in hand with employers is a chance to right a wrong; domestic work is important work—domestic work is real work.
November 2, 2012
Congratulations Household Management Graduates!
Celebrating DWU’s New Office! click here. To watch Donna Schneiderman speak out about the importance of implementing the Bill of Rights, click here. To listen to Abby speak out in support of her nanny and all invisible workers, click here. Lastly, to learn about the next phase of our work, a shared vision between workers and employers for a Code of Care, click here!
June 7, 2012
June 6, 2012
The courtroom was full today with more than 50 supporters from Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, Adhikaar, Damayan Migrant Workers Association and the National Alliance all taking the day off from their jobs to support Pat. "There are so many people here and across the country praying for Pat" said Joycelyn Gill-Campbell. "I am here because one day I could be in Pat's shoes. These types of abuses happen very often to domestic workers, but most are afraid to complain," said DWU member Lizet Palencia. DWU Board member Vilma Rosen also expressed her solidarity: "I am here today primarily to show my loyalty towards Pat and, second, because I believe in the dignity of all domestic workers. I'm supporting Pat during this hard time and I know she would do the same for me." Pat was so happy to receive a card signed by the members of Damayan, and pictures of the ladies from La Colectiva de Mujeres wearing purple yesterday in California to express their support during morning recess. The trial continues tomorrow 500 Pearl Street. To attend contact Joyce@domesticworkersunited.org
June 5, 2012
DWU member Pat Francois showed tremendous courage yesterday when she told her story of being verbally and physically assaulted by her former employer before a jury in federal court. Over 40 domestic workers and allies attended the first day of the trial wearing purple, Pat's favorite color. Acknowledging their support Pat stated "all the supporters in the room are boosting my morale. They are my strength." Friends and allies spent a second day at 500 Pearl Street on Tuesday June 5, with domestic workers from Damayan, Adhikaar, the NDWA and DWU filling the courtroom. "We are here to be with Pat and to show our support for justice, and for the dignity of all domestic workers everywhere. We are part of a family, and we come together to support each other," said Linda from Damayan. Having familiar faces in the courtroom is increasing Pat's confidence after almost two full days of testimony. As she explained, "having all these women here makes me feel stronger, and feel like I can fight back." The trial continues tomorrow morning at 9am. Join us and show you support Pat!
December 15, 2011
Today is an historic day, because all of the organizing among workers and allies to bring dignity and respect to care work has paid off. The White House and the Department of Labor have announced proposed rules to extend overtime pay and minimum wage protections to home care workers. Long excluded from the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1974, home care workers may finally get the rights that they deserve for the important work they do. The Department of Labor will now be taking comments on the proposed regulatory changes for 60 days. Individuals and families who will benefit from these changes must come forward and tell their stories. We call on all domestic workers, consumers, and anyone who has a loved one who needs in home care to join us in urging the Department of Labor to narrow the companionship exemption.
CLICK HERE to learn more about the proposed rules. CLICK HERE to take action through the Caring Across Generations campaign, led by the National Domestic Workers Alliance and partners. WATCH a moving tribute to Evelyn Coke, a home care worker who took her case all the way to the Supreme Court.