Home care workers fight income inequality, take to civil disobedience

Media Advisory
FOR TUESDAY, FEB. 25, 2014

Khanh Weinberg
(408) 921-0098

Home Care Workers Turn to Civil Disobedience to Fight Income Inequality

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Hundreds of home care providers, clients and community advocates will escalate their campaign against economic inequality and the poor wages paid to In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) providers in Santa Clara County. Protests and acts of civil disobedience are scheduled for Tuesday’s Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors’ meeting at 70 West Hedding.

Who: Labor and civic leaders, home care workers and clients.
What: Civil disobedience, protests and informational picketing at the Board of Supervisors meeting.
Where: 70 West Hedding Street, San Jose
When: Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 8:00 a.m.
Visuals: Labor leaders addressing BOS. Acts of civil disobedience, 500+ protesters holding signs and chanting. Some clients have mobility issues and will be in wheelchairs.

“The truth is that many home care clients are poor and so are providers, thanks to low county wages. It’s easier for elected officials to ignore the poor,” said home care worker Tina Nguyen. “We’re demonstrating outside their offices so it’s harder to ignore us.”

Santa Clara County’s 17,000 home care workers are its lowest-paid employees, earning an average annual income of $11,564. The rising cost-of-living throughout Silicon Valley and low home care wages has many of these individuals and their families living at or below the federal poverty line ($11,490 for an individual; $23,550 for a household of four).

Hundreds of protesters will take part in informational picketing and engage in acts of civil disobedience during the meeting of the Board of Supervisors. Protesters are demanding higher wages and more investment into a home care system that serves thousands of Santa Clara County seniors and people with disabilities.

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The Service Employees International Union is an organization of 2.1 million members united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide. SEIU is dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society. For more information, visit www.seiu521.org

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