USA: Domestic workers lead surprise march on home of millionaire Elyse Slaine
NEW YORK, USA -
A combative band of domestic workers, backed up by an actual band of musicians from the Rude Mechanical Orchestra, noisily arrived at the doorstep of millionaire socialite Elyse Slaine at 925 Park Ave for a surprise visit. They were led by Filipina domestic worker Marichu De Sesto, who for 15 years cooked and cleaned for Slaine, working long and unpaid overtime hours, only to be abruptly kicked to the curb in May when she requested a day off for a medical appointment.
Photo: Damayan Migrant Workers Association Source: National Domestic Workers Alliance/FACEBOOK
Returning to that curb with 50 activists and fellow workers at her back, De Sesto was denied entry to the building on Oct. 29. She delivered a demand letter for her back wages, however, signed by Damayan Migrant Workers Association, Justice First and a host of other workers’ organizations.
Since May, De Sesto had attempted numerous times to retrieve her unpaid wages from her final month of employment. Slaine ignored the requests, presumably on the expectation that De Sesto was too isolated or weak to do anything more. She was wrong, as De Sesto soon found Damayan, an organization with years of experience in the fight against the exploitation of Filipino immigrants and domestic workers.
Slaine refused to come downstairs and see the woman who cared for her, her daughter, her dog, her duplex apartment and her Hamptons home for the last 15 years. Instead she sent her boyfriend who tried in vain to convince the police officers, guarding the front of the building, to disperse the crowd. The protesters, fully within their rights, stayed for nearly two hours, chanting, giving speeches, flyering to Slaine’s neighbors, and playing their instruments.
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Story Type: News