Premilla Nadasen and Tiffany Wiliams
Domestic work—the daily maintenance of households and the labor of caring for children and other dependents—is crucial work. It enables workers to go out into the world, reproduces a new generation of workers and citizens, and sustains relationships among parents, children and families. And yet, it is devalued, degraded and made invisible. Its degradation and invisibility are produced through processes of gendering that naturalize domestic and caring labors as women's work, and racialization that naturalize low-wage, "dirty" jobs as the work of people of color and immigrants. As laborers doing devalued work, domestic workers receive neither adequate wages nor any of the other legal protections many US workers have—sick leave, time off, and collective bargaining. In New York and nationally, workers have organized for better wages, humane treatment and the right to legal protections that cover other US workers.