Today the movie “The Help” premiers across the country. “The Help” places African American domestic workers at the center of a major motion picture – a first for Hollywood. It’s not every day that the stories of those who usually remain invisible move to the center of the screen.
50 years after the stories told in the film, a workforce of over 2.5 million domestic workers go to work every day to take care of the most precious elements of their employers’ lives – their families and their homes. And yet, domestic workers remain an unprotected workforce, without access to basic rights that other workers take for granted. Still mostly women of color, far too few domestic workers receive overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, sick leave or vacation. And far too many of them work for less than minimum wage. In this regard, too little has changed.
The National Domestic Workers Alliance, a key partner of Family Values @ Work, has made this short video to highlight the problems faced by domestic workers, and the inspiring organizing they are doing in California, following a win in New York state, for a Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.
We salute their struggle and pledge our help.