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.

August 31, 2010

Making History!

August 31st was an unforgettable day for DWU and domestic workers all over the world. Governor Patterson SIGNED the Domestic Worker's Bill of Rights! It will go into effect exactly 90 days later. The signing ceremony was held at the Dwyer Cultural Center in Harlem with at least 200 members, workers, allies, politicians and journalists in attendance. Governor Patterson, Priscilla Gonzalez, JFREJ member Donna Schneiderman and DWU member Delores Wright all spoke about the struggle and victory of this momentous moment.

You can watch the video clip from NY 1 here.

"We've made history today, not just for us, but for generations to come to prove that change can happen when we stand for dignity, justice, & respect for all!"

~Priscilla Gonzalez, Domestic Workers United

August 24, 2010

The signing of the bill

Dear friends,

It is with great pleasure that we write to let you know that the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights,
S.2311-E (Savino)/A.1470-B (Wright), was finally delivered to Governor Paterson late last week. He has 10 days to act upon it.

As for the ceremony with Governor Paterson and the New York State legislature to commemorate this historic event, please be on the lookout for news sometime in September.

We thank each and every one of you for all you have done to push for this long-overdue legislation. When Governor Paterson signs the bill into law, it will be the first of its kind in the history of the United States. It will be a significant step forward in recognizing domestic workers as real workers and bringing dignity to the legacy of all the domestic workers who came before.

With love and respect,

August 12, 2010

Upcoming Events!

Hi friends! DWU has a few really exciting events coming up in the near future. You won't want to miss any of these.

On Friday, August 13th (yes, that's tomorrow), the office is hosting a Karaoke Fundraiser. For $10 you will receive a drink, a plate of food and a fun filled night of singing with DWU members and friends. The event is located at 1201 Broadway, Suite 907, from 7-11pm.

Saturday, August 21st is our monthly general membership meeting. Orientation for new members starts at 3 and the meeting is from 4-6. The meeting is located at 85 South Oxford Street in Brooklyn. (C or G train to Fulton, any train to Atlantic Ave/Pacific St.)

The DWU Family Fun Day is just around the corner! Don't miss this day of good food, friends, games, prizes and fun on August 28th from 11am-5pm. Enter Prospect Park West through 3rd St. and join us at the Picnic House for this great event.

Stay tuned for more information regarding the signing of the Domestic Worker's Bill of Rights with Governor Patterson. The signing should take place within the next month, and we want as many people as possible to attend this historic event!

And last but definitely not least, don't forget to save the date for our 10th Anniversary Gala Fundraiser on November 13th, 2010. More information to follow on this event soon!

August 6, 2010

"Freedom, change and empowerment"

The passage of the Domestic Worker’s Bill of Rights is a historic moment for New York’s working class. Once the governor signs the bill late summer and it goes into effect 90 days later, it will have a huge impact on the lives of New York’s domestic workers. It is important that we continue working to educate the entire domestic workforce and all employers about this new legislation. Everyone needs to know that they will soon be protected under labor laws! We asked some domestic workers: What does the bill of rights mean to you?

“FREEDOM, Change and empowerment! Recognition for the work that we do. Respect for the work that we do. We are not invisible anymore. ” –Pat Francois

“Finally, I got what is due to me! I feel liberated. This is what we were asking for; to make sure that people get what they really need.” –DWU member

“Finally domestic workers are seen as real workers and protection for this workforce has come at last!” –Allison Julien

“After 6 years of fighting for rights of domestic workers, I’m just elated.” –DWU member

Members of DWU participated in a march on July 29th protesting Arizona’s SB 1070. Organizations and coalitions from all over New York gathered and marched across the Brooklyn Bridge in a nation-wide day of protest against the bill that would legalize discrimination and racial profiling. The march came with the encouraging news that Judge Susan Bolton of Federal District Court issued a preliminary injuction against portions of the law. The picture above is DWU members and friends participating in the march.

In the spirit of solidarity, members of DWU also participated in an immigrant workers rally for justice at Flaum Appetizing Corp, a kosher food processor and wholesaler. For more on this event, read this article.