May 11, 2021

Domestic workers demand a law to regulate their sector in the US

Domestic workers demand a law to regulate their sector in the US

A delegation of domestic workers visited the US Capitol today to meet with several congressmen and move towards the creation of the first Bill of Rights for Domestic Workers across the country, its goal for 2019.

Just weeks after the formation of the new Congress, the National Alliance of Domestic Workers visited Washington to demand that the country's legislators set national rights for this group, made up of more than 2 million employees, the vast majority of them women.

California Senator Kamala Harris and House Speaker Pramila Jayapal (Washington State) accompanied the domestic workers and promised that, with the new Democratic majority in the House of Representatives, they will push for a legislative bill for their labor rights.

"When we talk about the voices of the vulnerable, we do not mean weak people, these women are people with great strength who now demand the rights and dignity they deserve," Harris said.

For the senator, "you can not understand the lives of many families without the strength and work" of the domestic workers.

Harris promotes, along with Jaypal, the National Letter of Rights of Domestic Workers, a project that they hope to debate in Congress during this legislative period.

"Now we have the majority and we are going to move this legislation, it is not a democratic aspiration, it is something positive for all," said Jaypal in a post-Harris intervention.

Currently, eight states and a city include legislative protections for this group, which now intends that the political representatives at the national level approve a fixed and equal regulation for the whole country.

For this reason, the executive director of the Brazilian Center for Workers, Natalia Tracy, compared this struggle with the advances in labor protection that were reached during the New Deal of former President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1933-1945) in the 1930s.

"We have to create a framework of basic rights, dating from 1935 and that many domestic workers still do not have," said Tracy in statements to Efe.

For its part, Ai-jen Poo, executive director of the Alliance of Domestic Workers, was "hopeful" to approve this legislative initiative in the new Congress because, as he argued, "the demand for domestic work is increasing" and their workers must develop that activity in "decent" conditions.

"We are serious about this and we have to make ourselves heard," he exclaimed.

Ai-jen Poo accompanied the film director Alfonso Cuarón in the Golden Globes awards this year with the film team Roma for his dedication to the group of domestic employees.

Precisely today, the company co-producing the film, Participant Media, invited legislators, activists and the employees' group to a later projection of Rome, since it tells the story of an indigenous woman who works as a domestic worker for a middle class family.


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