- Title: Care workers rally in DC demanding a say in Biden's 'human infrastructure' plan
- Date: 13th July 2021
- Summary: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES (JULY 13, 2021) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF CARE WORKERS CHANTING IN A SMALL CIRCLE UNDER TREES NEAR CAPITOL HILL (3 SHOTS) WIDE OF SCENE OF MANY CARE WORKERS GATHERED IN THE PARK CARE WORKERS HOLDS SIGN THAT READS "HOME CARE WORKERS, WE CARE FOR BLACK LIVES" CARE WORKERS HOLDING LARGE PROTEST BANNER WITH DRAWINGS OF TWO CLEANING WOMEN IN GLOVES FLEXING THEIR MUSCLES WIDE OF STREET WITH RALLY ORGANIZERS ON A TRUCK PLATFORM (SOUNDBITE) (English) LOUIS DAVIS, DC-AREA LOCAL LEADER FROM THE SEIU (SERVICE EMPLOYEES INTERNATIONAL UNION) SAYING INTO MICROPHONE: "Home care work is beyond essential, it's critical. These jobs should be the most respected and protected and well-paid union jobs in the country. (Cheers) I'll say it again. They should be the most well-paid union jobs in the country. (CHANTS) No justice, no peace!" WIDE OF PROTESTERS AT RALLY CHANTING A HEALTHCARE WORKER AND UNION ADVOCATE SAYING INTO THE MICROPHONE AS A CHANT "Care workers are essential workers!" PROTESTERS IN MASKS CHEERING WOMEN IN YELLOW T-SHIRTS FROM THE NATIONAL DOMESTIC WORKERS ALLIANCE CHANTING (Spanish) "Yes, we can!" (SOUNDBITE) (English) NAYELI MONTES, MEXICAN AMERICAN DOMESTIC WORKER IN YELLOW T-SHIRT, SAYING: "We were part of the workers in the frontline during the pandemic. It's time for them (politicians) to recognize our hard work and it's time, too, our work gets more value, pay a little more than now. Because it's very important, our care. Because that way everybody can go and do their own job if we do our part of the job." VARIOUS OF THE PROTESTERS AS THEY MARCH FROM THE PARK TO AROUND THE CAPITOL HILL AREA (3 SHOTS) CLOSE UP OF SHOES AS PROTESTERS MARCH MORE VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS AS THEY MARCH (4 SHOTS)
- Embargoed: 27th July 2021 20:36
- Keywords: Biden care workers human infrastructure protesters spending plan
- Location: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- City: WASHINGTON, D.C., UNITED STATES
- Country: USA
- Topics: Government/Politics,United States
- Reuters ID: LVA001ELODYKN
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text:Care workers rallied in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday (July 13) to demand increased investments in their sector in the upcoming infrastructure spending plan proposed by President Joe Biden, saying the people who give care at home or in facilities are essential workers as the U.S. pulls itself out of the Covid-19 pandemic.
By at least the hundreds they marched and chanted near Capitol Hill, demanding that Biden's proposed massive Build Back Better infrastructure plan, and a bipartisan $1.2 trillion infrastructure plan the U.S. Senate is trying to put together, include more pay and other benefits geared towards the millions of Americans occupied in giving care of one form or another to others, like home health workers, domestic workers, child care workers, as well as unpaid family members who look after infirm loved ones at home.
"We were part of the workers in the frontline during the pandemic," Mexican-American domestic worker Nayeli Montes told Reuters while holding a young toddler. "It's time for them to recognize our hard work," she said in reference to the Biden administration and Senators who are trying to make progress on the bipartisan infrastructure plan.
Biden in March also proposed boosting Medicaid, the federal medical program for lower-income Americans, by $400 billion over a decade to fund at-home care for elderly and disabled people, and increasing wages for caregivers.
He remains committed to that $400 billion figure, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told Reuters on Monday (July 12), but Biden does not yet have enough support from fellow Democrats to secure the funding in spending for at-home care for the elderly and disabled that the economy desperately needs, she said.
Raimondo said the pandemic had raised awareness about the lack of affordable care for children, the elderly, and the disabled, and even some Republicans - who opposed adding such spending to the infrastructure package - saw the need for change.
She said 1.5 million women still had not returned to the workforce after exiting during the pandemic to care for children whose schools had closed, and elderly and disabled relatives.
The current system - relying on women taking care of relatives for free, or paying mostly women of color to provide care at poverty wages - was not sustainable, she said.
(Production: Gershon Peakes, Mana Rabiee)
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