S1E39 / Invisible Women / Ai-jen Poo, Susie Rivera, Glewna Joseph
“Now that we see them, my hope is that our field of vision about who is working, and just how valuable they are, continues to widen. And that is it's not only about awareness and clapping for them at seven o'clock at night, but we're actively taking action and demanding that they be protected. Demanding that they be compensated. Demanding that they are able to keep their themselves and their families safe, crisis, or no crisis. “ - Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance
The workforce of domestic employees is comprised largely of women and women of color. This group has been severely impacted by COVID-19, facing job insecurity, lack of paid sick days, and low wages. The pandemic relief bills passed by the Senate for essential workers had conspicuously excluded domestic workers, leaving them vulnerable to disruptions caused by the pandemic. In today’s episode, we hear from Ai-jen Poo, the Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance; Susie Rivera, a home caregiver in Texas; and Glewna Joseph, a housekeeper. We discuss the ways in which their work has been changed by COVID-19, how the pandemic has brought awareness to the need for increased protection of domestic workers’ rights, as well as the steps being taken to bring about these much-needed changes.
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