Based on a New York Times bestseller by Kathryn Stockett, The Help tells the story of a group of domestic workers struggling for dignity and respect in Civil Rights-era Mississippi.
The film features African American domestic workers at the center of a major motion picture – a first for Hollywood. 50 years after the stories told in the film, a workforce of over 2.5 million domestic workers go to work every day to take care of the most precious elements of their employers' lives - their homes and families. And yet, domestic workers remain an unprotected workforce, without access to basic rights that other workers take for granted. Still mostly women of color, far too few domestic workers receive overtime pay, meal and rest breaks, sick leave or vacation. And far too many of them work for less than minimum wage. In this regard, too little has changed.
Domestic workers were left out of the National Labor Relations Act, meaning thousands of workers have no protection if they ask for basic rights.
*Join us on the 26th of March at 6pm for the Oscar Viewing party as we cheer for ' The Help'. More info to come. *
Below is an article from the express news.
"The Help" helping to organize San Antonio
Posted on February 8, 2012 at 10:22 PM
San Antonio - A popular movie is influencing a group of San Antonio maids to speak up about their plight. Those housekeepers are meeting in hopes of forming a labor union.
It's the movie, "The Help" and some of the women say they can relate to it in way or another.
In a small room, a group of women watched the popular movie, "The Help".
"The movie is giving us an opportunity to speak about the plight of domestic workers," said Irasema Cavazos, domestic worker.
These maids say they're today's help with the same troubles as yesterday.
"There are no protection for us that are doing domestic work," said Cavazos.
Some say they've had a traumatic experience at work but have been too afraid to speak up.
"They find that if they speak up they lose their jobs and they have families so it is hard," said Cavazos.
Alicia Perez is a maid and so was her mom. She died after being diagnosed with terminal cancer. Perez said her mom was forced to work until her last day or risk not getting paid.
Perez said not a day goes by that she doesn't think about her mom. Which is why she is hoping to reach out to others.
"These people are still being worked like with no dignity so that's what they're trying to change," said Cavazos.
And by showing the movie, they hope to show these women that they can unite to help each other.
The group is working to gather enough petitions to send off to the white house. If you would like to get in touch with "Trabajadoras de Lugar en Accion" you can reach them at 210-310-6071.