Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Past Action - Justice for Imelda! (8/19)

WHAT: Rally Against Abusive Employer, Fight for Domestic Workers Rights

WHEN: Sunday, August, 19, 2007

TIME: 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

WHERE: 166 East 96th Street, between Lexington & 3rd Avenue

DIRECTIONS: 6 train to 96th Street, exit through the south east stairway


From July 2006 to February of 2007, Imelda was repeatedly exploited by her employer. She was hired as a caretaker for an elderly woman by the woman's two adult children, Debbie Goldberg and Ira Ballen, and was a live-in employee. She was left alone to do all the work; acting as a caretaker, cooking, cleaning, and doing other miscellaneous errands for the elderly woman. Imelda worked a total of 87 hours per week, 6 days a week. She was paid $6.90 per hour, barely enough for a living wage. She was not paid overtime, and beginning in 2007, her pay of $6.90/hr was a violation of the minimum wage, which has risen to $7.15/hr.

As the managers of their mother's finances, Debbie Goldberg and Ira Ballen are responsible for their failure to pay Imelda sufficiently and treat her with disrespect. Imelda, with the support of domestic workers and organizations, demand Goldberg and Ballen to:

1. Pay Imelda in unpaid wages, overtime pay and minimum wage violations;
2. Issue an apology letter to Imelda;
3. Respect the rights and dignity of all domestic workers.

Despite the vital labor domestic workers provide, for the local and international economy, the work force continues to be the unprotected. The vulnerability of domestic workers is not an oversight but an intentional and practical way for the employers in partnership with the government to exclude and benefit from the domestic labor of women workers.

Imelda's story is not unique. Imelda is also one of the 200,000 domestic workers in New York City who serve as the foundation for the labor and profit generated for businesses and corporations. Since US slavery, domestic workers have been systematically denied respect, recognition and protection as a workforce. She is also part of the 10 million overseas Filipinos work abroad and annually remit $15 billion dollars to sustain the Philippine economy. As migrant women workers, domestic workers are also the modern slaves of Third World countries like the Philippines. Imelda is just one of over 30,000 Filipino domestic workers in New York, who, like many other workers know, are forced to work in frustrating and abusive environments without legal protection from either the US state or federal government and the Philippine government.

Join the Justice for Imelda campaign, call upon NY State legislators to pass the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, including a living wage and all basic benefits. Link arms with the growing movement to demand an end to abuse and modern slavery. Struggle for justice, dignity, basic human rights and liberation.

DAMAYAN Migrant Workers Association is a grassroots membership led organization based in New York and New Jersey. It upholds the rights and welfare of Filipino domestic workers and challenges the root causes of forced migration. DAMAYAN is part of the NY Domestic Workers for Justice Coalition which has been fighting for the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights since 2004. The NY Domestic Workers Justice Coalition includes: Andolan Organizing South Asian Workers, CAAAV's Kalayaan/Women Workers Project, Damayan Migrant Workers Association, Domestic Workers United/Trabajadores de Casa Unidas, Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees, and Unity Housecleaners of the Workplace Project.


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