Domestic Workers Pushback as Citizen Wealth Advances

Ideas and Issues

Tsuyapa citizen wealthegucigalpa What are the odds that as we talk about achieving living wages and income security as a central theme of Citizen Wealth that in successive days there are surprising stories of domestic workers winning or holding on to higher wages in both Brazil and Saudi Arabia?

Admittedly, it is hard to organize a parade when the real story in Brazil in the Times was kind of a “man bites dog” thing about a likely very small group of higher end nannies that had managed through additional classes and courses to force their way into the middle class working for high end Brazilian professional women. One talked about a “nanny mafia” holding the line on higher wages, which can only be described as a dream we all have the domestic workers would unite so effectively that they could demand higher wages through their solidarity.

The Philippines government with 1.2 million domestic workers in Saudi Arabia made news by indicating it would refuse to allow its citizens to work in that country if they reduced the minimum wage by 50% as they had proposed doing recently. More countries should stand up for their migrant workers around remittances in the same fashion if they cared about their own citizen wealth and that of their citizens.

All of this was on our minds as we spoke about the themes of Citizen Wealth in Tegucigalpa at the Cinefilia and told the stories of winning living wages in India, Canada, and the United States. The discussion on salario minimal in Honduras was lively in the same way. It was exciting to be able to announce that Citizen Wealth has just been translated into Spanish and soon we will be able to offer it more widely to our hermanos and hermanas in Latin America in a more accessible way.