Many in California are disappointed at Governor Jerry Brown for his veto of two labor rights bills, including the Domestic Workers’ Bill of Rights (AB889) and the Trust Act.
The Trust Act would have provided the state’s undocumented immigrants some protection from the federal Secure Communities program by prohibiting local authorities from honoring federal detention requests on illegal immigrants unless those individuals were charged or convicted of a serious or violent felony.
The Domestic Workers bill would have extended basic worker protections to individuals who work as housekeepers and nannies, primarily a female, immigrant workforce. Sponsored by California Assemblymen Tom Ammiano & V. Manuel Perez, the bill would have asked the state to develop regulations on overtime, lunch breaks, and workers compensation for nannies, maids and others. Similar legislation passed in New York in 2010.
A Coalition statement acknowledged the loss, saying “Gov. Jerry Brown vetoed the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights. We have built an incredible movement of thousands of domestic workers and the employer, faith, labor, women, youth and civil rights leaders that support them. Jerry Brown will now have to face the consequences from us all. Tuloy ang laban for human rights. La lucha sigue sigue.”
Coalition leader Claudia Reyes writes “‘Nuestra recompensa se encuentra en el esfuerzo y no en el resultado. Un esfuerzo total es una victoria completa’ (Mahatma Gandhi).” Nuestra victoria: 2 años de dedicación, liderazgo, mucho trabajo y un chingo de trabajadoras del hogar luchando por justicia. Que Vivan las Trabajadoras que dieron todo su amor y que sabían que era lo correcto desde un principio.
My friend Kathleen Coll asks us to “Hold the unaccountable governor to account, no matter what state you live in, at https://gov.ca.gov/m_contact.php.”
The governor did sign a bill AB2189 by Democratic Assemblyman Gil Cedillo that will let the Department of Motor Vehicles issue licenses to some undocumented migrants.
Earlier this month, Brown also vetoed a bill giving farmworkers standard overtime protections.
IMAGE ABOVE: “I Care” artwork by Laurel Fish with a nod to her teachers in art and activism: Favianna Rodriguez (Stanford IDA!), Mujeres Unidas y Activas & the California Domestic Workers Coalition! (thanks to Kathleen Coll for info)
IMAGE BELOW: California domestic workers gather in protest outside the State Building in San Francisco. From their Facebook page