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California Domestic Workers, Immigrants Rally for Rights

Domestic workers at an earlier rally for workers' rights. Photo by David Bacon

More than 400 immigrants, many of them domestic workers, rallied in Sacramento yesterday for workers’ rights and other important issues to mark California’s 16th annual Immigration Day.

The Sacramento Bee reported that Neira Ortega, 40, who left Oaxaca, Mexico, when she was 15, told the Capitol rally:

I had to go to work Sunday night and work until Friday night for $60 a week. I wasn't allowed to leave the house to buy my own food. I had to eat canned food. I couldn't go to take classes.

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, author of A.B. 889—the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights—which would give domestic workers some state-recognized rights in their efforts to curb abusive conditions, said:

California's great because of the sweat of many people—they clean your toilets, babysit your children. We want an end to the servitude. They have a right not to be held prisoner, not to be underpaid or mistreated.

Read more about the rally from The Sacramento Bee here. Read more about the drive to win rights for California’s domestic workers here and here. Visit the National Domestic Workers Alliance here.

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