“NYC Rally and March to raise the minimum wage in America.” The All-Nite Images from NY, USA. 15 April 2015. Wikimedia Commons.

Domestic Workers Organize

For centuries, women filled domestic roles without or with deeply undervalued pay. Racialized legacies of enslavement and servitude reinforced the subordination of women of color who worked as domestics. Domestic workers were excluded from the Social Security Act and many of the workplace protections of the New Deal, and because many were immigrant women, domestics were particularly vulnerable to human trafficking and various forms of imprisonment.

In the 1980’s and 1990’s, advocates demanded that female-dominated jobs be paid at a rate comparable to male-dominated jobs of similar skill and education. Immigrant domestic workers started organizing to defend against wage theft and abuse, forming new organizations to take collective action.

Boris, Eileen and Premilla Nadasen, “Domestic Workers Organize!,” WORKING USA: The Journal of Labor and Society vol. 11 (Dec. 2008): 413-437.

Where is it located in the Museum?

Domestic Workers Organize