Dozens of Domestic Workers Travel to Springfield as IL Senate Votes on State’s First Bill of Rights

MEDIA ADVISORY for Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Media Contacts:

Jorge Mújica (Spanish, English)

jorge@arisechicago.org | 773-844-9910

Marzena Zukowska (English, Polish, Spanish)

marzena@domesticworkers.org | 708-990-0389 | @MarzenaZukowska

 

Dozens of Domestic Workers Travel to Springfield as IL Senate Votes on State’s First Bill of Rights

 

Press Conference on Wednesday after Senate Votes on HB1288

Pre-interviews with speakers available.

 

What: Press conference immediately after the Senate votes on Illinois’s first Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (HB1288).

 

When: Wednesday, April 13th, 2016 at 1pm or immediately after the Senate vote.

 

Where: Blue Room, Room #010, Capitol Building, Springfield, IL.

 

Who: Organizations part of Illinois Domestic Workers Coalition, including Latino Union, Arise

Chicago, and AFIRE. Domestic workers, including nannies, housekeepers, and home care workers, from Latino, Filipino, and Polish communities; families who employ domestic workers; faith and labor leaders.Speakers include:

Representative Lisa Hernandez (D-Cicero)

Senator Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago)

Magdalena Zylinska, Arise Chicago, worker leader

Maria Esther Bolaños, Latino Union, worker leader

Gloria Key, AFIRE, worker leader

Reverend CJ Hawking, Executive Director, Arise Chicago

James Povijua, Illinois Campaign Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance

 

Visuals: Women with larger banners and posters; dressed in red/yellow Illinois Coalition t-shirts.

 

(Springfield, IL) — On Wednesday, April 13, the Senate will vote to extend basic employment protections to domestic workers through the Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights (HB1288), the first legislation of its in kind in the state and one that has already passed in the House of Representatives with bipartisan support. The bill, co-sponsored by Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago) and Rep. Lisa Hernandez (D-Cicero), will guarantee housekeepers, nannies, and home care workers across the state with minimum wage, freedom from sexual harassment, and for those who work over 20 hours per a week for an employer, an assurance of a day off.

 

While federal law has since been amended, workers in most states are still not covered by basic workplace protections, a result of 80-year historic exclusions dating back to the Fair Labor Standards Act.

 

“To support my family, I have gone to work on days that I was sick, worried that otherwise, I would not be able to pay for my mortgage,” said Magdalena Zylinska, a housekeeper from Illinois and Board Member of Arise Chicago. “The Bill of Rights would help women like me receive the same protections as other workers, and would give employers proper guidelines.”

 

“My own negative experiences on the job and those of other domestic workers have motivated me to keep organizing,” said Gloria Key, a careworker from Illinois and member of AFIRE. “ I have been to Springfield many times to advocate for the Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, and I hope that this time, we can leave the state capitol with a victory.”

 

“When I started cleaning houses, I received only $40 for 8 hours of work per day — way below the state minimum wage,” said Maria-Esther Bolaños, housekeeper from Illinois and member of Latino Union. “The Bill of Rights will open all of society, employers and domestic workers, to more just information about rights and pay. And my hope is that it will serve as a model for other states.”

 

The passage of HB1288 would make Illinois the 7th state in the United States to extend rights to domestic workers, joining Massachusetts, California, New York, Oregon, Connecticut, and Hawaii.

 

The Illinois Domestic Workers Coalition is powered by three local organizations, Latino Union, AFIRE, and Arise Chicago, as well as domestic workers, advocacy/community groups, workers centers, and others allies seeking to pass a Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights in Illinois. The Coalition is supported by the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States. For more information, please visit: www.respectallwork.org

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