Fatima Goss Graves

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Fatima Goss Graves

“Unstoppable Women Workers”

Washington, DC -- From July 10-12 2019, in the midst a growing women’s movement, a delegation of domestic workers and farmworkers led by Jane Fonda and prominent activists lobbied Congress for safe and dignified workplaces.

The delegation, dubbed the “Unstoppable Women Workers,” included Ai-jen Poo of National Domestic Workers Alliance, Monica Ramirez of National Farmworker Women’s Alliance, Fatima Goss Graves of National Women’s Law Center, and others.

Guided by farmworker women and domestic workers, many of whom had experienced labor exploitation and sexual violence on the job, the delegation met with key lawmakers, including Senator Bernie Sanders (VT), Senator Patty Murray (WA), Senator Cory Booker (NJ), Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT), Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA).

Policy Demands Include:

  • Expanding Title VII of the Civil Rights Acts to extend protections to all workers.
  • Supporting the Fairness for Farm Workers Act to ensure that farmworkers receive overtime compensation.
  • Passing a Federal Domestic Workers Bill of Rights to provide the domestic workers with basic labor protections, including the development of a new framework and mechanism that can extend

safety-net benefits to domestic workers.

The delegation additionally held a congressional luncheon on July 11, and a public forum at the U.S. Capitol Visitors Center on July 12 that included Jane Fonda as the keynote speaker.

“The issue of workers rights has been very important to me for a long time. But with the rise of the TIME’S UP and #MeToo movements, this is a new reality.” said Jane Fonda, Academy Award winning actress and activist. “If we are truly going to confront and solve the issues of dignity, equality, rights and safety, we have to stand in alliance with our sisters across all sectors. I am honored to be here with domestic workers and farm workers as we call on Congress for policies that will uphold their rights and dignity. We are here for the long haul.”

“Domestic workers and farm workers are proud to be a part of a growing movement of women that are transforming the way we live and work in America,” said Ai-jen Poo, executive director of National Domestic Workers Alliance. “The workers who have been the least visible and most vulnerable are now at the center of our solutions, which means that when we win, no one will be left behind.”

“As we speak, many farmworkers are working 15 hour days to cultivate and harvest the fruits and vegetables that we eat,” said Mily Trevino-Sauceda, co-director of Alianza Nacional de Campesinas. “Hundreds of farmworker women around the country are leading to create change for our community. It’s imperative that we work together to ensure safe and dignified working conditions for all working women.”

“As care workers, we provide care to our loved ones and our most precious possessions. Our work makes all other work possible, yet our exclusion from many labor laws makes us vulnerable to exploitation and abuse,” said Myrla Baldonado, domestic worker and organizer with Pilipino Workers Center. “We need to pass stronger laws and enforce them to protect all of us, not just some. We ask you to stand with us. We must change the way America cares.”

This effort builds on this year’s Unstoppable Day of Action, which for the first time brought together more than 100 domestic workers and farmworker women to the nation’s capital to push for an expansion of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act among other workplace laws.[1]

National Leading From the Inside Out Alum

Fatima Goss Graves, President and Chief Executive Officer, National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) was a 2017 Rockwood Leadership Institute National Leading From the Inside Out Alum.[2]

References