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Filipino Caregivers Unite with Illinois Domestic Workers Coalition

April 10, 2017



On March 25, more than 50 domestic workers from Latinx, Polish, and Filipinx community groups attended the Illinois Domestic Workers Community Forum in order to share their stories, experiences, and aspirations regarding working conditions, employers engagement, and labour protections.

The forum was organized by the Illinois Domestic Workers Coalition which is composed of different domestic worker centers such as Arise Chicago, Latino Union of Chicago, and the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE).

“This forum is an important space to allow domestic workers from different racial backgrounds to learn from each other’s experiences and to realize that there is a wider social movement that fights with them for their rights,” shared the community organizer of AFIRE, Christine Sumog-oy.

Several topics were covered during this forum including minimum wage, overtime pay, sexual harassment and discrimination, and workplace safety; all important components of the Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights which was recently passed to protect domestic workers.

Maggi Espenilla, one of AFIRE’s community leaders and a caregiver expressed: “I learned a broad range of information from this forum - from understanding ways in which we can negotiate work agreements with our employers to knowing how we can avoid using toxic and hazardous chemicals that may potentially endanger our health.”

The participants agreed to share the resources they have gained from the forum with their family, neighbours, and employers. They shared that after the forum, they felt more connected and encouraged to protect and assert their rights as domestic workers.

If you are interested in knowing more about the Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, or to connect with other Filipino domestic workers in Chicago, feel free to email us at or call us at 773 580 1025.

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