Domestic Worker Movement
Brazilian Immigrant Center Celebrates Domestic Worker Law and Policy Clinic and New Alliance with OSHA
Friday, September 9, 2011
The Brazilian Immigrant Center continues to solidify itself as the leading organization for workers' rights in the Brazilian community. Today, the Center celebrated the opening of the Domestic Workers Law and Policy Clinic and the signing of a new covenant of collaboration with the OSHA (Occupational Health and Safety Administration). The center celebrated two important events with a cocktail party, in which 30 people attended. In attendance were community leaders, workers, domestic workers, lawyers, members of the press, council members and former members of the board of directors, former including former President Eduardo Siqueira, Elise Garibaldi and Marcony Almeida and community organizations such as Centro Presente, Justice at Work, and Matahari and the National Lawyers Guild. Domestic Workers Law and Policy Clinic After 16 years of organizing, educating and inspiring the workers to fight for their rights, the Center is now opening a clinic dedicated to the often overlooked and under-protected domestic worker. Domestic workers are largely Brazilian immigrant community so it was natural that the Center is interested in ensuring they are respected and protected as all workers. In fact, the Brazilian Immigrant Center is part of a coalition of organizations that together constitute the Massachusetts Coalition for domestic workers (McDW). The coalition was formed to fight for a domestic woker Bill of Rights in Massachusetts. This bill of rights is necessary to prevent discrimination against domestic workers and to fill gaps in the law that allow for exploitation. In addition to organizing, BIC created the first Domestic Worker Law and Policy Clinic. Lydia Edwards, a former board member and volunteer for the center will now be working at the Center full time to represent domestic workers and challenge the legal interpretations of the law. OSHA AllianceSafety at work and dissemination were the core of the BIC work from the beginning. BIC and OSHA have worked together on several projects and we are excited to once again work with OSHA to ensure that these vital resources are meeting the needs of the community.