- 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.
January 29, 2013
How to Right a Historic Wrong: Domestic Workers and Employers Come Together in the First “Kitchen Table Dialogues”
Jennifer: "I see my role, my job as one that extends love towards those I care for. I really love to care for kids."
Allison: "Other people's kids become my kids. My role is to make sure kids grow up happy."
Sylvia: "Children must be raised with a lot of love. I give them a lot of love. I love children; I love my job."
Like Jennifer, Allison, and Sylvia, in the two decades I cared for children, I learned that my role as caregiver is a vital one, in which I became not only a key cog in the works that kept the family running smoothly, but also had both the responsibility and reward of nurturing and supporting children that became an important part in my own life. This first meeting highlighted the ways in which we, the workers, perceive our jobs as more than jobs; in reality, domestic workers become both teachers and co-parents. As caregivers, we share with our employers the value of high quality care for children. These first Kitchen Table Dialogues opened the door to discussing our shared values, and how these can evolve into goals that can be accomplished by all parties jointly. The unity of domestic workers, working hand in hand with employers is a chance to right a wrong; domestic work is important work—domestic work is real work.