FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: June 16, 2023
Contact: Daniela Perez, [email protected]
National Domestic Workers Alliance Honors International Domestic Workers Day, Celebrates Progress, Acknowledges Path Ahead
In addition to celebrations, cities like Philadelphia and Miami and states like New Jersey highlight the critical advancements and protections that domestic workers deserve.
NEW YORK, NY – This week, the National Domestic Workers Alliance recognizes International Domestic Workers Day through celebrations and critical activations nationwide.
Today marks the anniversary of the 2011 passage of the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention 189 for Decent Work for Domestic Workers, establishing international labor law for domestic workers. Since its passage, domestic workers have used this day to honor the leadership of domestic workers in the fight for workers across the world. As an organization representing nearly 2.2 million nannies, housecleaners, and direct care workers across the United States and as members of the International Domestic Workers Federation, NDWA is proud to continue to fight for increased protections at the local, state, federal, and international level as domestic workers have done for generations.
Below is a statement from Jenn Stowe, Executive Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance:
“As we come together to honor International Domestic Workers Day just days before Juneteenth, we recognize the powerful connection between these two pivotal milestones. Juneteenth, symbolizing freedom and emancipation, and International Domestic Workers Day, symbolizing the fight for recognition and justice for domestic workers, are a testament to the resilience and strength of the Black community and our domestic workers – who share an inextricable historical connection. And in that vein, we honor the remarkable legacy of Black domestic workers, who birthed the modern American domestic worker movement with their unwavering dedication, paving the way for progress and inspiring our future. We also lift up the millions of domestic workers around the world, and we celebrate the leadership and organizing of the women that have brought our democracies and cultures forward.
Domestic workers, including nannies, housecleaners, and direct care workers, face significant challenges, including lacking the necessary safeguards, fair wages, and benefits they deserve. The statistics paint a stark reality: domestic workers are three times more likely to live in poverty than other workers, enduring employment insecurity and retaliation far too often. Today, we renew our commitment to our growing movement with activations across the country highlighting the need for protection under a Federal Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, ensuring that all workers receive the protections they deserve and that these rights are enforced without exception.”
In observance of this day, our chapters and affiliates are organizing activations nationwide to raise awareness and strengthen protections for domestic workers. Beyond the remarkable events in Philadelphia, Miami-Dade, and New Jersey, NDWA affiliates and chapters gather in celebration, joined by members, staff, and domestic workers, to honor these workers’ immeasurable contributions to households and families nationwide.
With the timely day of commemoration, the organization’s chapters and affiliates are hosting several activations nationwide to bring awareness to the continued need to strengthen protections for domestic workers.
- In Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania chapter, domestic workers, advocates, and local leaders gathered in Rittenhouse Square on June 14 to call attention to the continued violations, abuse, and retaliation that domestic workers have faced, despite the 2020 Philadelphia Domestic Worker Bill of Rights passage. The gathering referenced a survey conducted by NDWA that discovered that employers violated several provisions of the city’s Domestic Worker Bill of Rights and retaliated against domestic workers who exercised their rights. Domestic workers delivered remarks and encouraged continued collaboration between workers, employers, and local leaders to spread awareness of and enforce the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights across the city.
- In New Jersey, the New Jersey chapter and Adhikaar, an NDWA affiliate, joined domestic workers and local leaders like Senator Richard Codey and Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake on June 15 to bring attention to the New Jersey Domestic Worker Bill of Rights and the critical advancements it would bring to the state’s domestic workers. The key provisions in the New Jersey Domestic Worker Bill of Rights include establishing contracts between employers and domestic workers, clearly outlining hours, wages, and duties; eliminating safety and health exclusions to ensure secure workplaces; enacting a two-week termination notice policy to protect domestic workers’ livelihoods; prohibiting employers from threatening workers for their immigration status and establishing protections against employer retaliation; mandating paid rest periods and meal breaks and ensuring that workers do not work more than six consecutive days without a rest period; creating a domestic workers oversight board to oversee the implementation of the bill.
- In Miami-Dade, NDWA affiliates Miami Workers Center and WeCount will hold a press conference and a march on Saturday, June 17, to launch the public campaign for the Miami-Dade Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. If passed, the Miami-Dade Domestic Worker Bill of Rights would be the first in the Southeast. With 60,000 domestic workers in Miami-Dade, South Florida is home to one of the largest concentrations of domestic workers in the United States, who are also predominantly Black and Latina women. Domestic workers, alongside the affiliates, will campaign for a local Domestic Worker Bill of Rights to protect domestic workers in the area and the country. The bill would enforce the right to a written contract; safety and protection from harassment and discrimination; privacy at work; a guaranteed rest break; a just notice before termination or interruptions to employment.
- In New York, the local chapter will attend the Future of Care Work Conference on June 16 and 17 at the Cornell Institute of Labor Relations. The Institute, along with the Chapter, will gather alongside advocates, care workers, labor leaders, and scholars to build power for care workers and lift standards in the care economy by putting the public focus on the urgency of taking care of the country’s care workforce. In solidarity, the New York chapter also attended the Pennsylvania Chapter’s rally in Rittenhouse Square, Philadelphia.
In addition to the events in Philadelphia, Miami-Dade, and New Jersey, NDWA affiliates and chapters all across the country are holding celebrations with members, staff, and domestic workers to acknowledge the invaluable work that domestic workers deliver to millions of households and families in every corner of the country.
National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)
is the leading voice for dignity and fairness for millions of domestic workers in the United States. Founded in 2007, NDWA works for respect, recognition and inclusion in labor protections for domestic workers, the majority of whom are immigrants and women of color. NDWA is powered by over 70 affiliate organizations and local chapters and by a growing membership base of nannies, house cleaners and care workers in over 20 states. NDWA has created Alia, an online platform to help domestic workers access benefits, not otherwise granted to them, in addition to introducing a National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights with now-Vice President Kamala Harris and Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal in 2019. Learn more at www.domesticworkers.org