Can workers centers and unions create a movement strong enough to fight back?
Source: The Anti-Union Bosses’ Group Fighting Fast Food Organizing Is Now Going After Home Care Workers – In These Times
The IFA: Newest Enemy Of the Disabled and Seniors
It seems that the disability and senior communities have yet another enemy; the IFA (International Franchise Association). They are the group who is fighting against SEIU to keep homecare workers wages down and substandard.
As a person with a disability who depends on homecare workers for my survival, I thank “In These Times” very much for this article, documenting a battle that basically revolves around the issue of who controls the lives of people with disabilities and seniors. The last thing we need is for another corporate entity like the IFA to impose itself into our lives. This entire battle conveniently leaves out that we disabled our equal citizens, and have every right to decide who takes care of us, and who touches our bodies. The IFA needs to back off and stop interfering with the independent lives of the disabled and seniors. We are the ones who have the right to decide our destiny, not a large, highly financed organization such as the IFA. Disabled people and seniors are not commodities, we are people who have for far too long been denied our independence. The IFA serves no real purpose here, other than to make an issue that should be very clear-cut into a cluttered mess where the independence of people disabilities is trampled on.
However, I strongly question why no representatives from the senior or disability communities were not interviewed for this article to have some balance. Why was our perspective left out? There is no shortage of disability and senior advocates who could have contributed a lot to this story.
There is an old saying in the disability rights movement that says, “Nothing about Us, Without Us.” Isn’t our perspective important enough to “In These Times” to include us in this story? One would think that a magazine that is well-known to be liberal and progressive would leave out of an important story, the largest minority group in the United States; people with disabilities.
We have been working together for many years with SEIU to raise the wages for home care workers because when our workers are paid what they deserve, everybody wins; the disabled, seniors, and our workers. Why was this very pertinent fact left out of this story?
We in the disability community have fought against the “for-profit” homecare industry probably longer than SEIU or any other union. We consider it as yet another battle for our civil rights as equal citizens, and for the chance to live in a free society, just like everyone else.
For us, it’s a matter of personal autonomy and who controls the lives. For-profit agencies don’t give a damn about independent living, personal autonomy, or personal control that we disabled advocates devote our lives to because it is our civil rights that are being violated by for-profit homecare agencies.