My first job in the U.S. was cleaning houses in the wealthy part of New York's Long Island.
Inside the marbled halls of America's expensive homes, I encountered challenges that shocked me, but were no different than the experiences of workers in Donald Trump's real estate business. For three years, I worked 16-hour days almost every day for less than $400 per month. I was underpaid and isolated.
Chicago — For eight years, I worked as a housecleaner for a millionaire who lived in the Gold Coast neighborhood of Chicago. I took the bus across town three times a week, often to work in an empty house because my employer was frequently away, traveling for business.
That also meant I got paid only when I saw him — in lump sums, often months apart. At first, I didn’t mind this setup, but soon, months would pass. By the end of 2008, my employer owed me $10,000 — and had stopped...