Doug Moore is Executive Director of the United Domestic Workers of America Homecare Providers Union, and an International Vice President at AFSCME.
by Doug Moore
In California, this month is particularly poignant for the homecare providers of the United Domestic Workers of America (UDW). On February 1, all of the state's nearly 400,000 In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) workers became eligible to earn overtime pay and other basic labor protections for the first time in history.
When Republican presidential candidate Newt Gingrich proposed that students should take over the job of cleaning our schools, he was rightly denounced for wanting to eliminate what he called “stupid” child labor laws.
But not a word has been said about the tens of thousands of low-wage janitors who would lose their jobs under Gingrich's plan or about what it would mean to their families and to our national and local economies.
This is sad but not surprising. Tea Party extremists and other Republican ideologues demand that government programs at all levels be eliminated or slashed, but never mention the millions of hardworking Americans who would lose their jobs as a result.