A new, hard-won joy was palpable all over Chan Kajaal Park in the Mission District on Saturday, where dozens of domestic workers gathered to celebrate the two-year anniversary of a landmark outreach program created to give them more power and voice in their too-often underappreciated jobs. As lively music played in the background, people who make households run everywhere — nannies, house-cleaners, caretakers and more — browsed resource tables from community groups, gathering materials in English, Tagalog or Spanish that detailed their rights as household workers. Between tables, attendees chatted and laughed with each other, eating pastries and soaking up the warm afternoon sun.
“After a couple of years of COVID, it’s really great to get together to celebrate,” said Kimberley Alvarenga, director of the California Domestic Workers Coalition, which organized the fair. The event marked the two-year anniversary of the Domestic Worker and Employer Education and Outreach Program, a pilot program in partnership with the state division of labor standards and enforcement that focuses on helping both household workers and employers understand labor laws surrounding domestic workers.
It also marked the launch of the group’s new Know Your Rights materials, which include easy to read handouts about labor rights as well as things like sample worker agreements and tools to help with timekeeping. But the celebration was really about much more than that — it was a celebration of the demanding labor household workers do, cleaning houses, watching children and taking care of elders, and the strides the group has made to ensure that labor is treated with dignity and respect.