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Veronica, a young domestic worker from Southern California, took her heart in her hands to speak to a barrage of television cameras and microphones, in a hearing room in the state Capitol building in Sacramento. She wasn’t afraid, though, she said, because she felt the strength of unions behind her.
Veronica was paid $350 – $400 a week to clean 34 houses, at little more than $10 per house. And for that wage, she had to clean everything.
Trumka responded, telling the legislators and other domestic workers, who’d gathered with the press,
This bill does not create new rights, it extends the rights that almost all other workers have to domestic workers.
He told them that domestic workers should be thanked for the work they do.
You do the most important work of all when you take care of the people most precious to us with such dignity.
The AFL-CIO president recognized that when the country’s basic labor law was written three-quarters of a century ago, the workers, mostly women, who clean homes and take care of children the sick and the elderly, were written out of it. Today, across the country, those workers are knocking on the door, demanding rights most workers take for granted.