“Unstoppable Women Workers” Delegation & Jane Fonda Make Their Voices Heard on Capitol Hill

07/12/2018

Contact: Marzena Zukowska, NDWA: marzena@domesticworkers.org, (872) 216-3684

From July 10-12, domestic workers and farmworkers lobbied DC lawmakers for safe and dignified workplaces

Washington, DC -- From July 10-12, in the midst a growing women’s movement, a delegation of domestic workers and farmworkers led by Jane Fonda and prominent activists lobbied Congress for safe and dignified workplaces.

The delegation, dubbed the “Unstoppable Women Workers,” included Ai-jen Poo of National Domestic Workers Alliance, Mónica Ramirez of National Farmworker Women’s Alliance, Fatima Goss Graves of National Women’s Law Center, and others.

Guided by farmworker women and domestic workers, many of whom had experienced labor exploitation and sexual violence on the job, the delegation met with key lawmakers, including Senator Bernie Sanders (VT), Senator Patty Murray (WA), Senator Cory Booker (NJ), Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT), Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA).

Policy Demands Include:

  • Expanding Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts to extend protections to all workers.
  • Supporting the Fairness for Farm Workers Act to ensure that farmworkers receive overtime compensation.
  • Passing a Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights to provide the domestic workers with basic labor protections, including the development of a new framework and mechanism that can extend
  • safety-net benefits to domestic workers.

The delegation additionally held a congressional luncheon on July 11, and a public forum at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on July 12 that included Jane Fonda as the keynote speaker.

“The issue of workers rights has been very important to me for a long time. But with the rise of the TIME’S UP and #MeToo movements, this is a new reality.” said Jane Fonda, Academy Award winning actress and activist. “If we are truly going to confront and solve the issues of dignity, equality, rights and safety, we have to stand in alliance with our sisters across all sectors. I am honored to be here with domestic workers and farm workers as we call on Congress for policies that will uphold their rights and dignity. We are here for the long haul.”

“Domestic workers and farm workers are proud to be a part of a growing movement of women that are transforming the way we live and work in America,” said Ai-jen Poo, executive director of National Domestic Workers Alliance. “The workers who have been the least visible and most vulnerable are now at the center of our solutions, which means that when we win, no one will be left behind.”

“As long as the most vulnerable workers face rampant sexual harassment with few protections, we will keep coming back to Washington to make our voices heard,” said Mónica Ramírez, co-founder of Alianza de Campesinas and author of the letter that sparked the TIME'S UP movement. “Now that the nation has finally seen the widespread abuses that we have always known, thanks to Tarana Burke's #MeToo Movement, it’s time we put real policies on the table for farmworkers and domestic workers who bring nourishment and care to our nation.”

"We need to ensure the impact of this public awakening results in lasting change. Part of this is ensuring that nominee Judge Kavanaugh is not confirmed to the Supreme Court," said Fatima Goss Graves, CEO of National Women's Law Center. "We are dealing with a government that wants to turn the clock back on women’s rights and workers' rights. We cannot let that happen. We owe it to all the brave women and men who have risked so much and said Me Too."

“As we speak, many farmworkers are working 15 hour days to cultivate and harvest the fruits and vegetables that we eat,” said Mily Treviño-Sauceda, co-director of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas. “Hundreds of farmworker women around the country are leading to create change for our community. It’s imperative that we work together to ensure safe and dignified working conditions for all working women.”

“As care workers, we provide care to our loved ones and our most precious possessions. Our work makes all other work possible, yet our exclusion from many labor laws makes us vulnerable to exploitation and abuse,” said Myrla Baldonado, domestic worker and organizer with Pilipino Workers Center. “We need to pass stronger laws and enforce them to protect all of us, not just some. We ask you to stand with us. We must change the way America cares.”

This effort builds on this year’s Unstoppable Day of Action, which for the first time brought together more than 100 domestic workers and farmworker women to the nation’s capital to push for an expansion of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act among other workplace laws.

About National Domestic Workers Alliance
National Domestic Workers Alliance is the leading voice for dignity and fairness for domestic workers in the United States. Founded in 2007, NDWA works for respect, recognition and inclusion in labor protections for domestic workers. NDWA is powered by over 60 affiliate organizations and local chapters and by a growing membership base of nannies, housecleaners and care workers in over 20 states. Learn more at: http://www.domesticworkers.org

About Alianza de Campesinas (National Farmworkers Women's Alliance)
Alianza Nacional de Campesinas is the first national farmworker women’s organization in the U.S. created by current and former farmworker women, along with women who hail from farmworker families. Founded in 2011, Alianza promotes the interests and priorities of the 700,000 farmworker women who pick, plant, and pack agricultural products across the U.S. Alianza is comprised of 18 member organizations around the United States and in Mexico. Learn more at: www.campesinasunite.org

About The National Women's Law Center
The National Women’s Law Center is a non-profit organization that has been working since 1972 to advance and protect women's equality and opportunity. The Center focuses on major policy areas of importance to women and their families including economic security, education, employment and health, with special attention given to the concerns of low-income women. For more information on the Center, visit: www.nwlc.org.