Excerpts of this blog is from Damayan Migrant Workers Association, Pilipino Workers Center, and Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO)
Filipino domestic workers are on the front lines of the Covid19 pandemic. Domestic workers are required them to be in others’ home—often multiple homes—and to come in close contact with individuals and items that may be carrying the Covid19 virus. Domestic workers are frontline workers in this pandemic, and they are at risk.
Since the global pandemic began, domestic workers in all regions of the world are in the front lines including Filipino domestic workers in the US. Live-in workers have been told to work more to keep their employers’ home extra clean; some have been told they cannot leave the home at all. Many who come into work have also been told to increase their work—with no additional pay—or have had their hours cancelled with no compensation. Their very livelihood is at risk.
“Kapit sa patalim” (grasping the knife’s edge) as most domestic workers cannot stop working without losing essential income they and their families need to survive. For many, they don’t have a choice. It is a matter of life and death for them and their families, so much so that they would risk their very lives. Leaving their situation means losing everything, so they would much rather stay and be at risk.
Two domestic worker associations are on the front lines helping these domestic workers – Damayan Migrant Workers Association in New York City and Pilipino Workers Center in Los Angeles.
Photos courtesy of Damayan Migrant Workers Association (left photo) and Pilipino Workers Center (right photo)
Damayan Migrant Workers Association (Damayan) is providing emergency support for our sick, elderly, and financially affected members to fill the gaps left by the system. They are building a network to provide groceries, hot food, and personal protective equipment, and we are calling on our community and allies to step up and lift up our most vulnerable community members. Donations are tax deductible. Any amount that you can give will go a long way. Donate to Damayan at this LINK.
Pilipino Workers Center (PWC) is also carrying out a similar emergency response fund during this time of crisis. It is also helping out elderly folks, parents with young children, and other front line Filipino workers who are risking their health to help the community. Some of these workers have also recently lost their jobs or have been displaced. These domestic workers feel the economic and physical effects of COVID-19 pandemic. Any donation to PWC will also go a long way. Donate to PWC at this LINK.
Besides immediate help, the International Domestic Workers Federation has also called for the enforcement of paid sick leave and adequate compensation in the event of dismissal in their Statement on Protecting Domestic Workers Rights and Fighting the Coronavirus Pandemic [ en español | en français ] Support these front line domestic workers now.