Stories and Profiles

National Domestic Workers Alliance and Domestic Workers United

In the United States, 2.5 million women do the work that makes all other work possible. As nannies, housekeepers and caregivers for the elderly, domestic workers care for some of the most important elements of their employers’ lives, yet they are excluded from labor laws, vulnerable to abuse, and isolated in the workplace.

Today a growing number of domestic workers around the country are coming together under the National Domestic Workers Alliance to organize for rights, respect, and dignity.

Domestic Workers United started in 2000 as a New York City-based alliance of Caribbean, Latina and African nannies, housekeepers, and elderly caregivers. In 2007 this work was expanded to a national alliance of local workers under National Domestic Workers Alliance. NDWA organizes domestic workers in the United States for respect, recognition and labor standards. Through leadership development, strategic campaigns and alliance building they seek to build a vibrant movement for social and global justice.

In 2010, after 6 years of rigorous campaigning, NDWA won the first ever NY State Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. This landmark bill expanded the rights of domestic workers to include overtime at the regular rate of pay, paid time off, and protections against discrimination and harassment.  These photos capture many of the important moments along to way to this and future victories!