Letter to the Editor: A thank you to the Lynn City Council adopting the Resolution in Support of Respect and Dignity for Domestic Workers

To the Editor:

I am writing to thank the Lynn City Council for adopting the Resolution in Support of Respect and Dignity for Domestic Workers, last week. Through the resolution, the city recognizes the important work of Lynn’s nannies, caregivers, house cleaners, and other domestic workers, and demonstrates its commitment to help educate workers and employers of their rights and obligations under the Massachusetts Domestic Worker Bill of Rights (“Bill of Rights”). In adopting the resolution, Lynn became the first city in Massachusetts to pledge its support for domestic workers since the Bill of Rights was signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick two weeks ago. The city resolution was brought forth by the organization of which I am a part, MataHari, a member of the New Lynn Coalition and a lead organization in the Massachusetts Coalition for Domestic Workers, and introduced by Lynn City Councilor Rich Colucci.

As a nanny, I have seen children take their first steps, heard them speak their first words, taken care of them when they are sick, and given them encouragement when they have a hard day at school. The work we do as domestic workers is so important, but the reality is that in our jobs, we have encountered many problems, including wage theft, verbal abuse, humiliation, and other forms of labor exploitation.

The Bill of Rights will provide basic labor rights and protections to domestic workers who, because they work in isolated workplaces and have historically been excluded from basic state and federal labor rights, are particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation. The new law gives workers the right to a written contract, right to maternity leave, right to report discrimination to the MA Commission Against Discrimination, and the right to notice for live-in workers, among others. With its resolution, Lynn pledged its support to ensure that domestic workers in Lynn know their new rights.

We thank the city for its commitment to help ensure that those individuals doing the important working of caring for children, the elderly, and families’ homes are treated with respect and dignity, and that the families receiving caregiving services receive only the highest quality of care. We also encourage Lynn residents – domestic workers, families who employ nannies, caregivers, and housecleaners, and anyone else who is interested– to learn more about the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights; MataHari will be a holding a community training on the Bill of Rights on Thursday, July 31st from 6:30 pm to 8:30 pm at the North Shore Labor Council, located at 112 Exchange St Lynn MA 01901.

Sincerely, Marlene Juarez

Lynn Resident, Nanny and House Cleaner, and Leader of Matahari’s Lynn Committee

READ ORIGINAL ARTICLE HERE: http://lynnhappens.com/2014/07/20/letter-a-thank-you-to-the-city-council/

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