FDL Book Salon Welcomes Sheila Bapat, Part of the Family? Nannies, Housekeepers, Caregivers, and the Battle for Domestic Workers’ Rights

By: Saturday July 26, 2014 1:59 pm

My generation associates the regulation of domestic workers with Zoe Baird and “nannygate.” In 1993, newly elected President Bill Clinton submitted Baird’s name to the Senate as his choice for Attorney General. She would have been the first woman to hold the position. Instead, the nomination was withdrawn because she and her then-husband, Yale Law Professor Paul Gewirtz, had managed their high profile careers and family life by hiring an undocumented couple to help them and had not paid their social security taxes.

Are we any farther along today? Sheila Bapat’s book, Part of the Family? Nannies, Housekeepers, Caregivers and the Battle for Domestic Workers’ Rights, suggests that the answer may be yes and no.

 

Mopping Up Corporate Greed

By: Thursday October 1, 2009 1:40 pm

Photo credit: UNITE HERE

Hotel housekeepers around the country have had enough. Yesterday, more than 350 housekeepers and their supporters launched a seven-city nationwide “Hope for Housekeepers” tour.

They kicked it off in Long Beach, Calif., carrying a seven-foot by 60-foot “Hope Quilt” on a mile-long pilgrimage from the Hilton Long Beach to the Hyatt Regency Long Beach to symbolize their struggle for decent working conditions.

“Hope for Housekeepers” is a national movement of women, founded by Hyatt housekeepers across the country, to stop the abuse of women in the hotel industry and bring a message of hope to Hyatt housekeepers and women working as housekeepers across the globe. The tour will travel to San Francisco, Santa Clara, San Antonio, Boston, Indianapolis and Chicago.

As Jane has pointed out, Penny Pritzker, of the massively wealthy Pritzker family who chairs four major corporations, including Hyatt, is a vocal opponent of workers’ freedom to form unions, strongly opposing the Employee Free Choice Act.

Earlier this year, Pritzker joined with other billionaires to fight the Employee Free Choice Act. She told President Obama she is opposed to majority verification (card-check), which would give workers another choice—a labor board election is the other option—when deciding whether to join a union.

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