Domestic Worker Organizing in Times of Crisis: Perspectives from the US and Latin America
Domestic workers have been hard hit by the global pandemic. Forced to choose between losing their jobs and livelihoods to protect their health or to continue to go to work while risking exposure to the virus in the homes they work in and in the public transportation they use to get to their workplaces, domestic workers are trapped in a Catch-22, bereft of the labor standards and social protections that many other categories of workers enjoy around the world.
As a large number of employers of domestic workers have lost their jobs due to the global economic crisis brought on by the pandemic, employment in the domestic work sector has shrunk dramatically, with the National Domestic Workers Alliance estimating that 80% of domestic work jobs in New York have been lost during the pandemic, and the National Institute of Geography and Statistics of Brazil calculating a loss of over 1.7 million domestic work positions in that country since March. As the vast majority of domestic workers in both the US and Brazil are women of color, the loss of employment in the sector has aggravated the already-stark racial and gender inequalities that exist in both countries.
Despite these multiple challenges, domestic worker organizations continue to use innovative strategies to fight for their jobs, their labor rights, and their health, through building community alliances, creating mutual aid networks, and mobilizing their membership to advocate for effective pandemic aid policies.
This webinar will feature leaders from the US and Brazilian domestic worker movements, who will talk about their experiences of organizing and empowering some of the most underrepresented and undervalued women workers to stand up and fight for their lives and livelihoods in a moment of unprecedented crisis.