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RELATIVES OF WRONG-WAY DRIVER VICTIMS ASK: "WHY NO ARREST?"

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By JOSEPH G. LARIOSA
(© 2016 Journal GlobaLinks)

 

CHICAGO (JGL) – A Chicago, Illinois-based Filipino American group, Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE), helped an Illinois Domestic Workers Coalition pass the Illinois Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights Bill, HB 1288.

As a result, a trip to Springfield, Illinois slated on last May 17 to lobby for the passage of the bill was shelved. The bill will amend the Illinois Minimum Wage Law, Illinois One-Day Rest in Seven Act, Illinois Human Rights Act and Illinois Wages of Women and Minors Act.


 

The HB 1288 passed by a unanimous bipartisan Illinois Senate vote of 53 to 0 last May 11 after it hurdled the Illinois House of Representatives by a veto-proof 75 to 31 vote last year, making the bill good as passed. The overwhelming bicameral votes are enough to override a veto by Gov. Bruce Rauner, who has 60 days to sign it. There was no response from the request for comment by the Journal GlobaLinks from the press office of Governor Rauner, seeking comment if the governor would signed it.

The legislation guarantees housecleaners, nannies and home care workers across the state with basic employment protections such as minimum wage, freedom from sexual harassment, and assurance of a day of rest.

 

Fil Am Speaks

FIL AM CAREGIVER & AFIRE VOLUNTEER SPEAKS: 

VOLUNTEER RIZALINA RICHMOND of Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE) and community organizer, tells about the sad tale of a fellow caregiver who sought her help when the caregiver’s employer fired her. The caregiver told her, “'I had said something which she (the employer) did not like and she never gave me a chance to explain myself.' So she was crying.” The helplessness of the caregiver motivated Ms. Richmond to join AFIRE and supported the Illinois Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights Bill that was passed by the Illinois legislature May 11. She spoke May 7 at the one-day  2016 Domestic Workers Convention held at the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC) at 1603 W. Taylor, Chicago (JGL Photo by Joseph G. Lariosa)

 


 

The approval of the bill comes four days after dozens of Filipina caregivers from AFIRE attended May 7 a one-day 2016 Domestic Workers Convention held at the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC) at 1603 W. Taylor, Chicago that featured workshops for domestic workers and a Mother’s Day celebration convention.

“The Domestic Workers Bill of Rights will help establish a baseline of protections for domestic workers in Illinois,” said Sen. Ira Silverstein (D-Chicago), bill co-sponsor. “The plan will ensure this valued workforce receives the same rights and protections as other workers and will be able to provide for their families.” 

“FREEING UP THE TIME AND

Bouquet for Rep Hernandez

BOUQUET FOR REP. HERNANDEZ:

REP. LIZA HERNANDEZ (extreme right) (Dem.-24th) smiles after she was presented with a bouquet of roses by Filipino American Rizalina (Sally) Richmond in appreciation for speaking May 7 at the one-day 2016 Domestic Workers Convention held at the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC) at 1603 W. Taylor, Chicago that featured workshops for domestic workers and a Mother’s Day celebration convention. Looking on is James Povijua, emcee and Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights Campaign Director. (JGL Photo by Joseph G. Lariosa)


 

“Domestic workers have been a critical part of our homes and economy, freeing up the time and attention of working families across this state. And as a working parent, I have experienced first-hand just how important their work is,” said Rep. Liza Hernandez (D-Cicero), bill co-sponsor. “The Domestic Workers Bill of Rights is a historic moment for Illinois, helping to not only professionalize the industry, but also elevate the quality of care for our working families.” 

“After many trips to Springfield to lobby for the Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, I am so happy that today domestic workers have been recognized under the law. We do the work that makes all other work possible,” said Magdalena Zylinska, a Polish housecleaner and board member of Arise Chicago. “To support my family, I have gone to work on days that I was sick, worried that otherwise, I would not be able to pay for my mortgage.  The Bill of Rights would help women like me receive the same protections as other workers, and would give employers proper guidelines.” 

Kristina speaks

FIL AM IN PANEL: 

FILIPINO AMERICAN KRISTINA Tendilla (third from left) of Advancing Justice Chicago says that as someone who was domestic worker for ten years and going on and off to school, she observed that “domestic workers are not treated well. The state does not provide adequate immigrant services” that prompted her to join Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment AFIRE before moving on to Advancing Justice Chicago. Looking on from left in the panel are Rahnee Patrick of Access Living, Ai-jen Poo (moderator), Director of National Domestic Workers Alliance, Christina Rivero of Fight for 15 and Ada Fuentes-Zullo of Jobs with Justice. The panel discussion on "Connecting Social Justice Movements" was part of the May 7 one-day 2016 Domestic Workers Convention held at the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC) at 1603 W. Taylor, Chicago(JGL Photo by Joseph G. Lariosa)


 

Since 2011, domestic workers in Illinois have been building momentum to pass HB1288, which would right a historic wrong by including domestic workers in basic labor laws afforded to most other workers. The signing of HB1288 into law would make Illinois the 7th state to extend basic labor protections to domestic workers, and the 6th state to have a Domestic Worker Bill of Rights, joining Massachusetts, California, New York, Oregon, and Hawaii. 

2-MILLION PLUS DOMESTIC WORKERS 

Over 100 domestic workers showed up at the convention. There are over 2 million domestic workers across the United States. They free up the time and attention of millions of working families. Despite their critical roles in the nation’s economy, many domestic workers continue to struggle to support their own families often facing systemically low pay, lack of control over working conditions, and limited labor protections. Many miss critical moments with their children and families, such as Mother’s Day, because they cannot afford to miss work.

Participants

CONVENTION PARTICIPANTS: 

Caregivers, nannies, domestic works listen during the May 7 one-day 2016 Domestic Workers Convention held at the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC) at 1603 W. Taylor, Chicago that featured workshops for domestic workers and a Mother’s Day celebration convention. The convention focused on the pressure to pass the Illinois Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.  (JGL Photo by Joseph G. Lariosa)


 

Ai-jen Poo, Director, National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), who spoke at the convention, said, “We are overworked, overstretched and undervalued, yet we still come together (and) still organize.”

Ms. Poo said if the HB 1288 were passed, “We will be at the tipping point in this country. Because between New York, Massachusetts, California and the other states that passed this legislation, when Illinois crosses the finish line, we will then protect the majority of domestic workers in the entire country.

Atty. Mike Aguhar

AFIRE LEADER THANKS SUPPORTERS: 

ATTY. MIKE AGUHAR, the new Executive Director of the Alliance of Filipinos for Immigrant Rights and Empowerment (AFIRE), thanks the Filipino community and others friends for supporting the activities and initiatives of AFIRE during the one-day 2016 Domestic Workers Convention held May 7 at the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC) at 1603 W. Taylor, Chicago that featured workshops for domestic workers and a Mother’s Day celebration convention. (JGL Photo by Joseph G. Lariosa)


 

“From invisibility and vulnerability to power, achieving protection to our domestic workers. I likened it to five (5) or six (6) couples in the dance floor, suddenly everybody is safe to go to the dance floor and everybody will have a dance party and that’s gonna happen with the domestic bill of rights.” 

“HARDEST WORKERS IN THE NATION” 

Another speaker was Rep. Liza Hernandez (D-24th), chief sponsor of the bill, said, “It is a wonderful day to be here especially among the hardest workers in the nation. I’d like to start by saying, ‘Thank you.’

“Thank you for all you do because I personally really because of you had made a difference in my life totally and I’ll tell you why. I’m here to talk to you about the Domestic Bill of rights.

Group photo

GROUP PHOTO: 

CAREGIVERS, NANNIES and domestic workers, despite the lack of day-off from their seven-day work week, managed to join the May 7 one-day 2016 Domestic Workers Convention held at the University of Illinois in Chicago (UIC) at 1603 W. Taylor, Chicago that featured workshops for domestic workers and a Mother’s Day celebration convention. The convention preceded the passage of the Illinois Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights Bill that one of the guests -- Rep. Liza Hernandez (7th from left, second row from back row) (D-Cicero), bill co-sponsor, promised to lead in passing the bill. (JGL Photo by Joseph G. Lariosa)


 

“And this is a piece of legislation I am very proud and humble to carry and that is House bill 1288. This will change the life of many, who deserve the dignity and respect of their work environment. When I was first approached about this bill, I was upset to learn that thousands of workers across the state who care for our children, aging loved ones and those persons with disabilities in our homes are not protected.”

Other speakers at the convention were Rizalina Richmond of AFIRE, Maggie Zylinska of ARISE Chicago, Maria Esther Bolanos of Latino Union, and James Povijua, Illinois Campaign Director, NDWA.

A panel of speakers dwelt on the topic "Connecting Social Justice Movements. The panel was moderated by Ms. Poo and included Rahnee Patrick of Access Living, Kristina Tendilla of Advancing Justice Chicago, Christina Rivero of Fight for 15 and Ada Fuentes-Zullo of Jobs with Justice.

Break out sessions followed for CPR 1 & 2 on health and safety in Spanish, Polish and English, communication & media training and social media and organizing 101.

New AFIRE Executive Director Mike Aguhar thanked the Filipino domestic workers and the Filipino community for supporting the causes and initiatives of AFIRE. 

ABOUT THE ILLINOIS DOMESTIC WORKERS COALITION 

Since 2011, the Illinois Domestic Workers Coalition has been seeking to pass a Domestic Workers' Bill of Rights in Illinois. The Coalition is powered by three domestic worker organizations, including Latino Union, AFIRE, and Arise Chicago, along with allies and community groups, such as the Jewish Council on Urban Affairs, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, the Heartland Alliance, Women Employed, SEIU/HCII, and The Chicago Coalition of Household Workers. The Coalition is supported by the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), the nation’s leading voice for dignity and fairness for the millions of domestic workers in the United States. For more information, please visit: www.respectallwork.org (Contact reporter at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

 

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