The New Face of Labor
Late last month, as Gov. David Paterson signed the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights into law at a Harlem community center, Barbara Young, a nanny for 17 years, could barely contain her glee.
“After so many years and so many people depending on us, we are now recognized as part of the work force,” the 62-year-old Barbados native recalls thinking.
The signing marked the climax of a six-year campaign by Domestic Workers United to gain long-denied rights for nannies and housekeepers. But the 200,000 workers who stand to gain from the new law are not the only group whose prospects look brighter. Organizations that represent workers ranging from busboys to freelance writers are increasing their clout, winning rights for low-wage, immigrant and contingent workers who had for years fallen outside the scope of mainstream labor and its collective bargaining agreements....