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Domestic Workers

Dreams From My Helper: Part Three

Michelle Toh | Posted 02.25.2015 | World
Michelle Toh

While I consider my former helper to be one of the most important figures in my life, I won't pretend that our relationship hasn't affected the broader family dynamic. A few years ago, for example, Che Che told me that our current helper, whom my sister and I call Che Che Miriam, didn't like her. "What makes you think that?" I said uncomfortably.

Dreams From My Helper: Part Two

Michelle Toh | Posted 02.23.2015 | World
Michelle Toh

Che Che wasn't always so lucky in connecting with her bosses. One day, she was at home when her employer Mimi (whose name has been changed on Che Che's request) returned with her 10-month-old son from a day in the park.

Dreams From My Helper: Part One

Michelle Toh | Posted 02.20.2015 | World
Michelle Toh

The idea of calling someone a maid has always made me uncomfortable. Coming to America, people often wouldn't understand when I'd talk about my helper, the general term used for au pairs in Hong Kong. "You mean your maid?" they'd ask. I'd always flinch.

Human Rights and the Fight Against Trafficking

Juhu Thukral | Posted 01.31.2015 | Impact
Juhu Thukral

Trafficking in persons clearly involves human rights concerns, based on the coercion, threats, or violence victims and survivors face. But the ways we as a community respond to human trafficking also involve very important human rights issues.

The Plight of Private Residence Domestic Workers

Ana I. Grande | Posted 12.01.2014 | Latino Voices
Ana I. Grande

Every worker, regardless of their immigration status, should be protected by the law in so much that her well-being, her dignity as a person seeking the American dream for her family, is never at risk.

Ai-jen Poo: It's Time To Stop Treating Caregivers Like Second-Class Workers

The Guardian | Ai-jen Poo | Posted 10.01.2014 | Politics

I started organizing domestic workers 16 years ago. I signed up nannies, housekeepers and home health aides at parks and train stations as they quietl...

On Women's Equality Day, All Lives Matter

Ai-jen Poo | Posted 10.26.2014 | Politics
Ai-jen Poo

We are still working toward democracy and equality for every woman -- without restrictions based on race, class, age or experience. And we have some distance to travel.

Raising the Floor for Home Care Workers Is Critical to the Nation's Economic Future

Angela Glover Blackwell | Posted 09.14.2014 | Politics
Angela Glover Blackwell

In the decades to come, raising the floor for home care workers will become increasingly important. Unfortunately, many of those who take care of our most vulnerable - even full-time workers - are still in poverty.

Home Care Workers Rely on Unions, and We Rely on Them

Ai-jen Poo | Posted 07.16.2014 | Politics
Ai-jen Poo

The progress made by Michigan home care workers since 2005 was undone when legislators decided to exclude them from the state's definition of public employees. Without adequate wages and benefits, the home care workforce is not sustainable.

Illinois Domestic Workers Deserve Protection From Sexual Harassment

Sheerine Alemzadeh | Posted 05.08.2014 | Chicago
Sheerine Alemzadeh

n an industry like domestic work, which is even less regulated, the conditions for harassment are ripe. Domestic workers in Chicago have started to speak out about their experiences, like being groped by clients and subjected to exposure, derogatory language and sexual requests.

A House Is Not a Home Without Rights for Care Workers

Michelle Chen | Posted 04.08.2014 | Politics
Michelle Chen

Does a public union belong in the most private of workplaces? Thousands of personal care workers in Illinois who tend to elders and people with disabilities at home wouldn't have it any other way.

Five Things You Can Do to Fight Trafficking and Modern Slavery

Juhu Thukral | Posted 03.26.2014 | Impact
Juhu Thukral

It's important to start the year thinking about ways to address and prevent trafficking in persons, given that, throughout the world, so many workers and young people experience this assault on their dignity and autonomy.

Mistreatment of Domestic Worker By Indian Diplomat Is Not Unique

Rebecca Smith | Posted 03.19.2014 | Business
Rebecca Smith

The recent story of an Indian diplomat in New York arrested for labor abuses garnered national headlines, but the mistreatment suffered by her domestic worker employee barely received a mention.

The 10 Most Hopeful Stories of 2013 to Inspire Your New Year

Sarah van Gelder | Posted 03.01.2014 | Impact
Sarah van Gelder

There was something almost apocalyptic about 2013. But much happened that was hopeful this year -- a new pope focused on inequality, successful minimum wage campaigns spread across the country, and the number of states allowing gay marriage doubled.

Standing With Sangeeta

Deepa Iyer | Posted 02.19.2014 | World
Deepa Iyer

We all deserve to engage in our jobs with dignity, whether we work in the corner office of a high-rise, the inside of a cab, or behind closed doors in a home. Standing with Sangeeta means that we stand for the rights of those who experience workplace abuse.

Regardless of Rank, Consular Officials Should Be Held Accountable for Domestic Worker Exploitation

Tiffany Williams | Posted 02.18.2014 | World
Tiffany Williams

While much of the media surrounding this case has focused on Khobragade, and the irony of her gender and job description, what's missing from the conversation is the context: exploitation of migrant domestic workers is not unusual.

A Thanksgiving Lesson From My Cleaning Lady's Daughter

Rebecca Joseph | Posted 01.27.2014 | College
Rebecca Joseph

When I read Angela's college application essays this week, my heart broke. She revealed information that I never knew about her and her family even though her mother has worked as my cleaning lady for almost 10 years.

Beyond Outrage: How the African Diaspora Can Support Migrant Worker Rights in the Middle East

Kumera Genet | Posted 01.24.2014 | Black Voices
Kumera Genet

The success of any lasting movement formed from these protests will rely on us using our skills and investing time in helping to create systems to ensure the accountability of both migrant sending and receiving governments.

How Domestic Workers Won Their Rights: Five Big Lessons

Amy B. Dean | Posted 12.18.2013 | Impact
Amy B. Dean

Domestic workers have had some breakthrough wins over the past two weeks. Up until then, these workers were excluded from protections such as a guaranteed minimum wage, paid breaks, and overtime pay.

Why Do I Have to Be Nice to Everyone?

Penney Berryman | Posted 10.05.2013 | Women
Penney Berryman

I wear slips under dresses and send hand-written thank you notes. I don't discuss bodily functions in mixed company and consider it an honor to be asked for a recipe after a dinner party. In sum: I was raised a good girl. And it is damn frustrating.

Caregiving Should Be Middle Class Work

Deborah Weinstein | Posted 08.17.2013 | Politics
Deborah Weinstein

Caregiving is skilled work. Any parent needing child care, or person with disabilities employing a caregiver, will tell you that. But their pay is low and their benefits almost nonexistent.

Who Was Essie May Jones?

Meryl Hartstein | Posted 07.30.2013 | Black Voices
Meryl Hartstein

Who was Essie May Jones? To me she was the smartest woman I had ever met. She was strong and steadfast yet kind and fun. She would take a bus twice a ...

My Mother's Day Wish

Sen. Kevin de León | Posted 07.10.2013 | Los Angeles
Sen. Kevin de León

Domestic workers deserve the basic worker protections that most of us -- from legislators to store clerks -- take for granted. They do important work, though it's largely invisible.

Building a Caring Economy

Ai-jen Poo | Posted 06.22.2013 | New York
Ai-jen Poo

Domestic workers are just one population within the growing ranks of the working poor, workers who are slipping through the cracks of a deteriorating safety net and falling into the growing chasm of economic inequality in this country.

Domestic Workers Sow a New Global Movement

Michelle Chen | Posted 06.18.2013 | World
Michelle Chen

The household is a deeply traditional and extraordinarily modern, intensely global and local, workplace. Linking work and family, public and private, domestic workers are schooling the labor movement in new concepts of respect, self-determination and social equity.