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.

June 10, 2009

The NYS Senate and the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights

Dear Friends,

On Monday, June 8, just as the buses carrying domestic workers and supporters drove away in celebration of a successful Albany mobilization for the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, we received the news about the NY State Senate. Like everyone, we were shocked, concerned and not sure how to understand what this could mean for the passage of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in Albany this legislative session. The dust is settling, and we wanted to send you a message about where we think things are today (which of course could change at any moment).

This Bill of Rights was never a partisan bill; this bill is about respect, justice and basic human dignity. We have always approached it this way. Our five long years of organizing and consciousness raising on this Bill of Rights has paid off. We have 27 co-sponsors in the Senate, including 3 Republicans - Senators Padavan, Monserrate, and Espada. We have met with all of the senate offices within the last month or so, including Senator Skelos's key staff (the new Majority Leader), and discussed the the issues in depth. As far as we know, they have no issues with the Bill of Rights, and a majority of the NY State Senate would in fact support the passage of the Bill of Rights. Domestic workers were suffering and vulnerable before this happened, and our determination to win is stronger and clearer than ever. And as far as we're concerned, this Bill is getting to the floor in both houses this legislative session. It can happen - we can make it happen.

At this troubling time, our job as a movement is to refocus the attention of the media on the people of New York, and what we need done. This is a time of economic crisis, and the working people of New York are hurting, with domestic workers among the most vulnerable. With only days left in the legislative session, domestic workers cannot wait any longer. So, let's do what we do best - ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE, ORGANIZE. We have two important events coming up this weekend - our overnight, 24-hour vigil from Friday through Saturday morning and our "Children and Families March" from City Hall, up Broadway to Sara Roosevelt Park in the Lower East Side, Speaker Sheldon Silver's District. Let us bring our voices, our creative energy and our passion for justice to make these events the largest, most powerful actions for the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights to date. See you in the streets this weekend!

Feel free to email us at domesticworkersunited@gmail.com, or give us a call with any specific questions (212) 481-5747.

Many domestic workers, particularly live-in workers, work around the clock without rest. We're asking all New Yorkers who support domestic workers rights, to stand together for 24 hours straight in a symbolic show of support for the passage of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights - so that domestic workers can receive overtime, job security, basic respect and recognition.
8:00 am - 8:00 am
City Hall - across from 250 Broadway
12:00 noon Friday June 12 - Press Conference
Take the N/R to City Hall, or the 4/5/6 to Brooklyn Bridge
RSVP, and sign up for a shift, aijendwu@gmail.com, or (212) 481-5747

Bring your entire family, community and congregations to this Sunday afternoon, after-church, "march for peace and justice in the home" to show how many people of faith support and are connected to domestic workers. With children leading the march, many generations will march together with one common message and theme. Let's send a strong message to the NY State Legislature and the Governor that we won't stop until they honor, respect and protect the work that makes all other work possible in New York.
1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
City Hall - across from 250 Broadway
Take the N/R to City Hall, or the 4/5/6 to Brooklyn Bridge
RSVP, particularly with groups to joycedwu@gmail.com or (212) 481-5747

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