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.

October 20, 2010

Events, events, events!!

Dear DWU members, friends, supporters and allies,

The next two months are jam-packed with important and exciting events with DWU! Below is our calendar, please join us as we continue to demand justice and greater protections for domestic workers, and as we celebrate the past 10 years fighting for rights, recognition, and respect.

Basebuilding Committee Meeting

Thursday, Oct. 28, 7pm - 9pm

DWU Office, 1201 Broadway, between 28th and 29th St., Suite 907

Board of Directors Elections

Saturday, Oct. 30th, 3pm

DWU Office, 1201 Broadway, between 28th and 29th St., Suite 907

*You will be contacted if you are eligible to vote in the elections*

Campaign Committee Meeting

Thursday, Nov. 4th, 7-9:15pm

DWU Office, 1201 Broadway, between 28th & 29th St., Suite 907

Justice for Pat Rally

Saturday, Nov. 6th, 11am - Noon

Meet at the corner of West 57th Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan.

Trains N/Q/R/W to 57th Street

*Rally with domestic workers and allies to demand justice for Pat, a DWU member who was physically assaulted by her employer*

DWU 10th Anniversary Gala: "Domestic Workers Rising: Building a Lasting Movement for Change"

Saturday, Nov. 13th, 6pm-11pm

SEIU Local 32 BJ

101 Avenue of the Americas, 1st Fl

*Tickets $20 for members, $30-$60 for non-members. Call our office to reserve your seats, or go online to https://org2.democracyinaction.org/o/5774/p/salsa/event/common/public/?event_KEY=24241 to reserve your seats! You can also email Khionna at kdoug.dwu@gmail.com for more information*

General Membership Meeting

Saturday, Nov. 20th, 4-6:30pm

85 South Oxford Street, between Fulton & Lafayette, Brooklyn

Domestic Workers Rights Day

Monday, Nov. 29th

Location TBA

*This is the day the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights officially goes into effect! Join us on this day to let workers and employers everywhere know that a new day has dawned, and our rights must be respected!*

Domestic Workers Convention: A New Day - A New Standard

Saturday and Sunday, December 4th & 5th

Location TBA

*We have won recognition under the law! Now let's set higher standards for the domestic work industry in New York and beyond. Let's arm ourselves with the information we need to assert our full rights at work! More information on the program forthcoming.*

October 19, 2010

Youtopia Grant for DWU

DWU has been entered in a contest for a Youtopia Grant. This grant will help provide us with resources needed for a massive and innovative Know Your Rights Campaign. Click the link below and VOTE for DWU!!!

October 12, 2010

Justice for Domestic Workers on an International Scale

The movement for domestic workers is not limited to New York, or even to the United States. There is an international struggle that is rapidly growing. The National Domestic Worker’s Alliance is taking part in an international movement for justice which came to fruition in November 2006 at an international conference on 'Respect and Rights: Protection for domestic workers!' in Amsterdam, Netherlands. According to the ILO website, “In June 2010, the International Labour Conference at Geneva adopted a resolution calling for the drafting of an international convention and supplementary recommendation to extend labour standards and social protection to the world's domestic workers. The International Labour Office in Asia and the Pacific has been working with our constituents and civil society in anticipation of such a decision and is now preparing for the next ILC (June 2011) where these international instruments could be formally adopted.”

According to the NDWA website, “The National Domestic Worker Alliance is organizing with domestic workers around the world to win a strong ILO Convention with the standards and protections this workforce so desperately needs.” This convention will be a huge step in demanding international recognition and respect for domestic workers.

For more details on NDWA’s campaign, check out their website here

In addition, there are many other countries with strong and active domestic worker’s movements. In India there is the National Domestic Workers Movement

In South Africa there is the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union

In Asia: Asian Domestic Workers Network

In the Carribean: National Union of Domestic Employees

For more information on the international movement, visit http://www.domesticworkerrights.org/.

For more information of the North American national movement, visit http://www.nationaldomesticworkeralliance.org/

October 4, 2010

Paid Sick Time Act

Everyday, over 200,000 domestic workers in the greater New York City metropolitan area take care of the most important elements of their employers' lives -- their children, elders, and homes. Their health is vital to the health of New York's families and economy. Yet, despite their recent inclusion in New York State labor laws, they are still left without basic benefits such as paid sick days. Domestic workers are expected to go work when they or their loved ones are sick. "We risk losing our jobs or a day's pay for taking time to take care of our health," says Deloris Wright, a nanny in Manhattan.

Domestic workers have joined together with millions of other New Yorkers to urge the City Council to pass the Paid Sick Time Act. The historic legislation would give all private sector employees in New York City the right to earn paid sick time. It would require all employees earn a modest amount of paid sick time: 5 days per year at workplaces with fewer than 20 employees, and 9 days at workplaces with 20 or more employees.

We are close to winning the right to paid sick days for all New Yorkers. Speaker Christine Quinn is expected to make a decision on whether or not to bring the bill to the floor within days. We must push hard in these final hours, and we must emphasize inclusion of all New Yorkers in the legislation. As domestic workers, we know all too well the damage that exclusions can create. The bill already has a veto-proof majority - 35 out of 51 council members co-sponsors. Let's make our voices heard at City Hall and URGE SPEAKER CHRISTINE QUINN TO BRING PAID SICK TIME ACT TO THE FLOOR FOR A VOTE.

Call and email Speaker Quinn TODAY!!

Here is a sample script:
"I am a New York City resident calling to urge you to bring the Paid Sick Time Act to the floor for a vote. New Yorkers can no longer wait. This is the single most important thing you can do to help New York’s working families, including domestic workers, achieve a better, more stable quality of life. This initiative is critically important to improving public health. And, we firmly believe that it will do so without becoming an undue burden on New York’s small business community. Pass the bill and do not exempt small employers. Millions of New Yorkers are counting on you."


District Office Phone
(212) 564-7757

Legislative Office Phone
(212) 788-7210

In solidarity,
Domestic Workers United