By Ronald D. White
The quadrennial convention of the AFL-CIO. the nation's largest labor federation, has attracted a diverse crowd from across the nation and around the world to the Los Angeles Convention Center.
In particular, there is an attempt to attract and to elevate the status of domestic workers in the U.S. as a potential source of future strength and influence. That effort includes bringing together international domestic worker leadership from as far away as South Africa and Hong Kong.
"We are hoping that trade union leaders around the world will begin to recognize domestic workers as equals so that we can all fight together," said Elizabeth Tang, 55, coordinator of the international Domestic Workers Network. Tang came to the convention from Hong Kong.
Myrtle Witbooi of Capetown, South Africa, chair of Tang's organization, said she came to emphasize the fact that "domestic workers are just like any other workers, and deserving of the same rights and respect."
Witbooi said another goal was to build support for C189, the international Convention of rights concerning Decent Work for Domestic Workers.