- 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.
April 7, 2008
Seder in the Street
Jews for Racial and Economic Justice celebrated Seder at Seward Park. The event combined various aspects of Jewish seder traditions with domestic workers and housing issues.
Domestic Workers United was invited to make a presentation and I was given the opportunity to speak. I spoke about conditions in the domestic work industry and highlighted our excellent and dedicated service as domestic workers. I stressed that while employers appreciated the care we provided for their families, they pay many of us what they consider as industry standards but what is often insufficient. I also explained the struggles for domestic workers and their families surviving on what we are paid. I explained that while we accept appreciation from our employers by words, what we really needed was appreciation by action. I further stressed that domestic work is a priceless job and a valuable service that we provide to our employers. Our employers cannot put a cost on loving and caring for their families. As domestic workers we give a lot and receive very little. I challenge employers to go against current industry standards and support the domestic worker bill of rights. After my speech, three employers at the Sedar said they will support our bill of rights.
Members from Jews for Racial and Ecomomic Justice did a speech on the ten plagues that strickened Egypt and they did a symbolic modern plagues that i found to be very touching. Some of these modern day plagues were intolerance, racisim, gentrification and greed. They said the importance of getting rid of these plagues from our society and building a better society. The whole event was interesting an meaningful and even though it was a cold day, I was glad I attended.