On Wednesday, October 15, a delegation of union and nonunion home care workers met with Congresswoman Jan Schakowsky at her Edgewater office. Workers shared the struggles they deal with day to day living on low wages, and explained the difference $15 an hour would make for their families.
“It’s so hard to look at my kids knowing I cannot provide the things they want and need,” explained Danielle Loving, who has provided home care for two years and earns only $9.00/hour. “The worst part is that I’m always working too, I never get to spend the quality time I want to with them, and yet I have nothing to show for it.”
Representative Schakowsky listened intently and then pledged her support to the fight for $15 for home care workers.
“Home care workers hold some of the most important jobs in our country, caring for older Americans and the disabled by providing critical services like bathing, dressing, and preparing meals,” said U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky. “It’s outrageous that these workers – overwhelmingly women – should have to fight for a decent wage and basic dignity on the job. I will have their backs until they win, and so should every other elected official in this country who cares about the future of America’s workers, our economy, and ensuring we can meet the growing need for quality long-term services.”
Check out photos from the event:
From there, home care workers geared up for a ‘Care Canvass’ on Saturday, October 18, fanning out into Chicago’s south side neighborhoods after a rousing speak out from workers and allies.
“As home care workers, we know that while we’re fighting for $15 we can’t lose sight of other ways we can create change and raise wages for workers,” exclaimed OJ McGee, Chicago home care worker and single dad juggling multiple jobs to raise his teenage son. “We have a real opportunity this election because we all can VOTE YES to raising the minimum wage and vote to re-elect a champion for home care, Governor Pat Quinn.”
Katie Jordan, President of the Coalition for Labor Union Women also addressed the crowd Saturday, check out the video:
325 SEIU members, family, friends, and nonunion workers knocked on over 5,000 doors and identified about 1,300 supporters of home care services, an Illinois minimum wage increase, and re-electing Governor Pat Quinn. All this, despite it being a very cold and wet day in Chicago!