On January 1, 2017, a new law takes effect in Illinois: the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. It guarantees that domestic workers like nannies and housekeepers are entitled to the state’s minimum wage, as well as a day off each week. The law covers other home-care workers, too — tens of thousands of people in Illinois.
In this week’s StoryCorps we hear from two women who helped organize this movement. Ai-jen Poo runs the National Domestic Workers Alliance, and is a MacArthur “Genius” Grant Winner. She moved to Chicago recently and met with one of the local organizers in the StoryCorps booth at the Chicago Cultural Center. Ania Jakubek moved here from Poland in 1998, and started off taking care of other people’s children.
StoryCorps’ mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to share, record and preserve their stories. These excerpts, edited by WBEZ, present some of our favorites from current visits, as well as from previous trips.