Domestic workers march to press legislators on Domestic Workers Bill of Rights

NEW YORK (Apr. 23) — New York City domestic workers — nannies, housekeepers, and elder-care providers — and their allies will march through New York’s Upper East Side on Saturday, April 25, at 11 a.m.  Carrying with them the tools of their trade — strollers, wheelchairs, mops and diapers — the workers will be demanding a bail-out for those who take care of the homes and families of their employers. The march will begin at 86th Street and 5th Avenue.

The “bail-out” they seek is the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (A1470/S2311), a comprehensive set of labor protection for domestic workers currently under consideration in the New York State legislature.

In a planned rally before and after the march, domestic workers will give their testimony to the abuse and exploitation they suffer on the job in New York City homes.

“We are fighting for the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights because we suffer physical and emotional abuse, long work days, no respect; we’re treated as if we weren’t human beings. Yet we look after children who are the future of this country,” said Ercilia Chambilla, a domestic worker in Manhattan.

According to organizers, this Saturday’s event is part of a larger national week of action intended to push New York legislators to pass groundbreaking legislation to protect the 200,000 domestic workers employed in the New York metropolitan area.  At present, domestic workers are excluded from fundamental labor laws such as the National Labor Relations Act and denied equal protection under New York State law.

The Domestic Workers Bill of Rights would protect nannies, housekeepers, and elder-care workers from abuse and exploitation by granting them basic rights and protection that other workers enjoy.  The bill was approved by the New York State Senate and Assembly Labor Committees earlier this year.

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