Governor Cuomo: Stop the 24-hour workday immediately!

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Did you know that home care workers in New York State work 24-hour days? Did you know that we have a government-sponsored sweatshop system here that forces mostly women of color to work 24 hours straight for days in a row, while only paying for 12 or 13 of those hours? No other country has such a system, but here in the United States, in New York State, this is what workers face. We call on you to help to end this.

For many years thousands of women have done this 24-hour work. They care for the elderly and the sickest people who need around-the-clock care. Many of these patients have Alzheimer’s or severe dementia, are bed-ridden, and have a multitude of health problems. The home care workers feed them, bathe them, and wash their clothes and linens. They watch them at night so they don’t wander off, or fall while going to the bathroom. They turn them over in bed to prevent bedsores. For doing this critical work in our society, many of these women have become injured themselves and some are permanently disabled. They have lost years with their own families.

Home care workers have come together and through the Ain’t I a Woman?! Campaign have demanded pay for all the unpaid hours of work they did in the night. They also call for 24 hours of care to be split into two or more shifts. They have appealed to their unions, taken their agencies to court, and filed complaints with the Department of Labor. While all agree that this is wrong, they all respond that their hands are tied. This is why we need Governor Cuomo to stand up to the insurance companies that are protecting their own interests and record profits over the health, safety, and fair pay of these workers.