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.

May 15, 2008

Why I'm Going to Albany

Hi my name is Deloris Wright I am a nanny, and a member of Domestic Workers United. May 20 is our Day of Action in Albany. This is our second mobilization this legislative session. We are fighting very hard to get our Bill of Rights pass this year. Personally for me I think we are sending a strong message to the Legislators with our presence, we need to let them know that enough is enough. We are not going to stop until we get this Bill passed and until we are recognized as real workers. We are two hundred thousand strong fighting for dignity and respect.We have been excluded from the labor law since slavery .We are tired of being on the back burner we need to be valued and treated with respect.

May 13, 2008

My mother's hands: the Domestic Worker's Union

May 11, 2008 - 10:51am
By Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou

Dear God:

Like all children, I held my mother's hand as sign of assurance against a fall; a touch of loving; a way of being; the last time I saw her I was flying in from a rally of protest with a brief layover in her city. With the fervor of a prodigal son or better yet a prince returned, she made a fuss about me. (I am the baby you know.) We embraced; she sat me down and gave me that stern look and as always told me to be careful and not to make the president too mad. "Yes, ma'am", I obliged. We made chit chat about my siblings-some blue, all black.

And so were her hands. I rubbed them-tortured with calluses. Her knees ached and soul tired of scrubbing rich white folk floors. My mother is a "domestic" - like her mother and her mother before. I saw my mothers' hands again last night. Though not all black, they were blue. Reminding me from whence I came, they danced and sang calypso; testified before you, elected officials, and labor leaders.

I call on you now to protect them in the dark corners of their labor houses. May the children they serve hold their hands and feel their souls.

I talked to mother this morning and said it is OK to make the president really mad, for her. (Did I mention that I am the baby?)

Lillian's son,

Rev. Osagyefo Uhuru Sekou
p.s. please help the DWU pass the Domestic Worker's Bill of Rights

May 7, 2008

A Mother's Day for Justice

On May 11th we celebrate a holiday, one of those holidays that shouldn't be recognized for one day, but everyday. It's Mother's Day. And on this day - we remember those who birthed us, those who raised and nurtured us. This critical work, historically done by women, has shaped generation after generation. It is work that in some ways is the most basic, the most difficult, the most rewarding. It continues to be invisible and unrecognized.

Families, children, and mothers come in many shapes, colors and sizes. For some of us, we have several 'mothers' in our lives. Those people who have made us who we are. Nannies often time do this critical work - part educator, part psychologist, part doctor - part many things, but always done with a full helping of love. Today is a day to honor them too. Yet how is it that only one day is set aside to recognize this work of raising children, our future? Where would we be without this work? And why is it sufficient to offer our mother's some flowers, maybe some chocolates for all their work?

Let this be a Mother's Day of Justice. We want flowers and chocolates, we want a full helping of love. But more than that we want a full helping of justice. By seeking justice, we can have Mother's Day everyday - we demonstrate our love through the fight for recognition, respect, dignity. On this day, give homage to the people in your lives who have nurtured you to become the person you are. And also, stand with domestic workers, who have and continue to do this work, this dignified work, this labor of love.