Work in Connecticut since 2012
The Brazilian Worker Center in Connecticut
From its office in Bridgeport, Connecticut, the Brazilian Worker Center works closely with a multi-ethnic community of domestic workers from throughout the state, with organizers and members drawn from the West Indian, Latino, Haitian, Polish, and Brazilian communities.
The BWC believes that in order to achieve social change it must affect transformation at the personal, cultural, and institutional levels. In addition to serving individuals, the Connecticut Center engages in base building, legislative education, and political actions in New England and beyond, always employing a bottom-up approach so that workers can learn to exercise leadership skills and be a force of their own making. Our leadership is drawn mostly from first-generation Brazilians, who come from the communities that we serve and who enjoy our constituents’ trust and collaboration.
The BWC has been central to passing two laws already in Connecticut as part of the campaign for a Domestic Worker Bill of Rights that we first introduced there in 2012. In 2014, the General Assembly legislatively established a Domestic Worker Task Force on which the BWC had three representatives, including two of the worker representatives, and the non-profit advocacy representative. We also established a larger domestic worker advisory group that advised the Task Force. In 2015 the Domestic Workers Campaign was instrumental in passing a new law allowing workers to file discrimination and sexual harassment complaints with CT’s Human Rights & Opportunities Commission, reversing a 75-year old legal exclusion. In 2014-15, we continued to work as members of Governor Malloy’s Domestic Worker Task Force, which designed more extensive legislation for introduction in 2016-17 for moving further into establishing a wider Bill of Rights for CT home care workers. We are continuing to organize, to fight anti-worker bills that are introduced to roll back labor rights, and working with many allies widen further the rights of Connecticut domestic workers.