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.

December 23, 2010

2010: A Historic Year!

2010 was a historic year for domestic workers, women, people of color, immigrants, low wage workers, and labor rights! With the signing of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights on August 31, 2010 and its implementation on November 29, 2010, over six years of hard-fought struggle in the New York State legislature finally won rights, respect, and recognition for domestic workers! Lets take a look at some of our 2010 highlights:

This year…

More than 1,000 allies turned out in New York City and Albany in support of dignity for domestic workers!

DWU conducted and published an independent study entitled “Domestic Workers and Collective Bargaining”. We surveyed over 500 workers for the report. The Department of Labor integrated our findings into their report, concluding that collective bargaining is feasible for domestic workers, making it the crucial next step in building power.

DWU and the Urban Justice Center launched a legal clinic, to swiftly address and win justice for cases of abuse and exploitation.

Worker-leaders led a leadership training program and a nanny training course.

DWU supported California sister organizations in launching the CA Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Campaign.

We held our 10th Anniversary Gala at SEIU 32BJ, drawing over 400 attendees, including our Keynote Speaker Arlene Holt Speaker, Executive Vice President of the AFL-CIO.

DWU members made nearly 2,000 new domestic worker contacts to continue building a strong base for dignity and justice.

In partnership with the National Employment Law Project, DWU published a “Know Your Rights” guide for workers.

And, there is more to come, in 2011…

DWU will launch a massive “Know Your Rights” public education campaign, to ensure that all domestic workers know their rights, and employers their responsibilities.

DWU and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice will start the “Domestic Justice Dialogue Project”, and begin piloting collective bargaining on a neighborhood scale.

The DWU Ambassadors Program will launch, making trained domestic worker representatives available as first points of contact in key neighborhoods throughout the city. They will form neighborhood groups and conduct “Know Your Rights” trainings.

DWU in partnership with the Urban Justice Center will continue to fight for justice for individual workers whose rights have been violated, and will work with the Department of Labor to ensure these cases are swiftly addressed.

We will continue to help build the National Domestic Workers Alliance and support domestic worker organizations in California & Massachusetts, which are poised to introduce their own Bill of Rights legislation.

DWU will continue the struggle for fair labor standards, and inclusion in labor laws, both in Albany and through innovative collective bargaining models.

Thank you to all of our friends and supporters who rallied to bring justice, dignity, respect, and recognition!

Let's keep making greater change in 2011!