Jennifer Angarita, national worker center coordinator at the AFL-CIO, sent the following message to working family activists:
I’m going to tell you something very personal: My father finally became a citizen of the United States after almost 30 years of waiting.
My parents brought me to the United States when I was 13 months old to escape economic hardship and war in Colombia. I grew up in Dallas and my favorite foods were pizza, chocolate chip cookies and empanadas. My parents worked hard to put me through school, and I was proud to be the first person in my family to graduate from college.
Domestic workers, such as caregivers and nannies, make all forms of other work possible and play an increasingly significant role in the U.S. economy. However, a new national study found, on average, domestic workers earn little more than minimum wage and few receive benefits like Social Security, health insurance or paid sick days.
In a key victory for working people around the world, on Monday the Philippines became the second country to ratify the International Labor Organization (ILO) convention on domestic work. An ILO “convention,” which sets international labor standards, must be ratified by a nation-state’s government for it to become the law in that nation. The Decent Work for Domestic Workers Convention (ILO Convention No. 189)—which addresses issues such as wages, working conditions, benefits, labor brokers and child labor—goes into effect one year after two countries approve it. Uruguay ratified C. 189 in April of this year.
At conventions and rallies, teach-ins and town halls, working people across the country are showing an outpouring of support for immigrant youth and their struggle for justice. DREAMers—or young immigrant activists—are undocumented young people who were brought to the United States at an early age and represent the best of what this country has to offer.
Jennifer Angarita, AFL-CIO National Worker Center coordinator, sends us this.
From locally grown, organic greens to grass-fed beef, we care about the food that comes out of the kitchen—but what about the workers who chop, grill, sauté and serve our food? Today, the restaurant industry is one of the largest and fastest growing industries in the United States. Despite its size and growth, the industry suffers from pervasively low wages, wage theft, non-existent benefits, rampant discrimination and often dangerous or unhealthy working conditions.
The partnership announcement fittingly comes on May Day, International Workers’ Day, when working people across the country and around the world are highlighting and celebrating the contributions of workers every day and the role immigrants play in our economy.