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(Chicago, IL) -- On January 12, members of AFIRE and other community groups gathered together at Grace Place Episcopal Church to launch the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights which went into effect January 1, 2017. The new law grants domestic workers, including those who are undocumented or out-of-status, a state minimum wage, freedom from sexual harassment, and a day of rest in seven. The law is critical in this moment of fear, one week before the inauguration of a new presidential administration that opposes immigrant and workers rights.
O’lola Ann, a caregiver and member of AFIRE, shared her testimony on behalf of domestic workers at the press conference.
“We are oppressed because of our immigration status, our vulnerabilities in working in private households, our marginalization within the labor movement, and exclusion from workplace protections. Clearly, and most often, we are treated as servants, and our employers, our masters,” says O’lola, “We must stand together and not be afraid. We have a strong movement behind us, and a new law offering us protections.”
On January 14, AFIRE members also participated in the immigrant rights rally for “Resistance, Unity, and Respect” hosted by the Chicago Teachers Union. More than 1,000 people attended to stand up to the discriminatory rhetoric and agenda of the incoming administration.
“And I encourage all our immigrant communities in Illinois, to work together, as we continue this fight against this hate,” says O’lola when asked about her thoughts regarding the upcoming administration.
No one should have to face these harrowing times alone. AFIRE encourages community members to get involved so that together, we can defend the rights of our community and all those under attack. For more information on how to get involved, we invite you to become a member and join us for our First General Membership Assembly, February 25, at the Rizal Center. To attend, please contact Christine by phone at 312-925-8451, or email, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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