Recently in h. march 30 Category

DE March 30: Group B

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La Colectiva has a few conflicting messages. While their Bill of Rights demands improved conditions to empower workers and "level the playing field," their advertising is still steeped in the language of bourgeois capitalism. Despite labeling themselves as a progressive, labor-oriented organization, the first slogan that appears on their web site is: "you can call us your Fairy Godmothers." Invoking this fairy tale image doesn't do them any favors. A fairy godmother is a mythical creature endowed with special cleaning powers, whose sole purpose is to benevolently take care of people's chores. A fairy godmother doesn't have a family of her own to support, nor a personal life outside of her job - her entire identity is encompassed by her function. This completely negates La Colectiva's mission, which claims to be worker-driven.

Also, the idea of fairy godmother implies the presence of magic, which perpetuates the marginalization and invisibility of domestic labor. It promotes the notion that domestic work is not 'real' work, and erases the difficulty and toil endured by domestic workers every day. If a fairy godmother can solve all your household problems with a smile, a wave of her wand and a snap of her delicate fingers, she obviously can't be working very hard. So why should she be recognized or compensated for her labor?

Despite certain questionable instances of rhetoric, La Colectiva mostly has an effective grasp of internet media. The web site's layout is clean, attractive and easy to navigate. Its "About Us" section is clear and informative, but brief and to the point. It provides a quick and focused understanding of the organization's purpose and activities, and also has a number of links to related labor organizations that encourage visitors to learn more about workers' rights. The numerous videos and photographs in the gallery are compelling and provide a window into domestic workers' lives. While La Colectiva's image provides the stability and reliability of a large organization, it always emphasizes the humanity and individuality of the women who comprise it.

DE March 30

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I found that the La Collectiva was very similar to the program that the lady in the movie was a part of. I think that it is a good idea to be in one of these because it seems like it is very similar to a union. Since, they are a large group they can come together and fight for something such as these bills of rights. Although, after reading the Bill of Rights I thought that it was a little weird that an adequate night of sleep is 5 hours and that there is nothing about an exact amount that they should be paid. For instance, minimum wage, I think that this something that could be misconstrued. They are using the approach that everyone is entitled to basic workers rights like paid sick days, vacation days and other issues. They are using the approach that these domestic workers are not machines; they are human beings and need to be treated like it. They are using social media by using this blog as a source to get their word out and that they have rights. So, when people order their service they can see that they are a group and that they can't take advantage of them. Also, I think that by putting this Bill of Rights in a public place it will help sales. This is because people will feel better if they order workers that are being treated fairly.

DE Mar 30

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La Colectiva is a group of cleaners who base their business on helping the immigrant community and using environmentally friends cleaning methods. On they website they claim to be using all eco-friendly or green cleaning products, which have variety of benefits. They are employee run which is unique for a cleaning service. This company is based in California and is devoted to improving working conditions and helping women and they environment as they try to make making a living easier for immigrant women.
This website is laid out and presented extremely well. It is very clear and well thought out with cleaver phrases, pictures and clear direction to the different sections to the website. This is a powerful social media tool because a person gains a first impression of a company based on their website. If a person in San Francisco, California simply goolged the phrase "green cleaning" it is quite possible that the Colectiva web site would pop-up. Instantly this company's site gives the impression of being valid and well run. By getting more people interested in their company and the different things they offer they can increase their ability to work and expand.
The fact that this is a "green" company is very appealing to some, especially in California where being "green" is all the rage. When a consumer or a person likely to hire someone to clean their home and when they make a point of making sure the service is using "green" technology, there is the tendency that these consumers are more socially and environmentally considerate. That is to say they would most likely support this kind of company whole-heartedly. All in all this company is appealing to a specific consumer base and using a well put together website to do it.

DE 3/30- fairy godmothers or empowerment

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La Colectiva is a house cleaning company with a union style. The women that make up La Colectiva are immigrant women who make a living from domestic labor. La Colectiva is organized labor. They call themselves a "worker-run cleaning collective"; demonstrating that the foundation of these domestic workers' organization is made solely of the women who belong to it instead of a traditional company with a hierarchy of laborers and employers. A couple of their primary goals are to empower immigrants and connect them with jobs as well.

From what I saw, there are a few main strategies being used to respond to current problems with domestic labor. One is their use of linguistics. Quite a few of the wording that they used on the site as well as the slogans caught my eye. A few quotations from the site are, "So you can get the peace of mind... (Homepage)." They also state that hiring La Colectiva will let you know, "you are providing a dignified and living wage (Homepage)." Both of these quotes accomplish relatively the same thing. They present an opportunity to the prospective customer to do something good as they are the, "Keepers of Your Sanity (Resources)." I think these quotes are an example of a smart strategy because what I see is a respectful message. There is no, 'you owe us'. Instead, they appeal to customers with a simple explanation of who they are, what they do, prices, and why they do it.

What I found interesting, was the emphasis on a business arrangement. On the resources page, it says that they work towards communication between workers and, "the people who hire them." Even this sentence has the effect of evening the playing field. Focusing on communication is necessary to resolve domestic labor issues. The website also posts a sample agreement so that prospective customers can see exactly what they would be agreeing to. This is in contrast to an individual not given the chance to communicate. Also, overall, the website works to advertise their work, not themselves. Cheap labor, especially among immigrants, as we discussed in class, often has the effect of placing a value on bodies. Laborers are often seen as bodies that are expendable. La Colectiva, on the other hand, markets their cleaning as well as their knowledge of green cleaning products. The group and their work are represented as a whole who are politely and simply stating their rights and abilities.

The website is a great example of using social media. The site is beautifully done, incorporating solid, simple design layout, filled with solid, simple information. There are links that are not overwhelming that are offered to answer more questions as well as allow for a reputable image. There are a number of slogans, which stick, are simple, and easily spread. They discuss their business, their rights, affiliations, and goals all in one place. It is inevitable to see it all as it is all mixed up in a way that does not scream hidden agenda.

One thing I did have an issue with was some of their slogans. One being you can call us, "Your Fairy Godmothers." A lot of the other sayings I thought were great, but this, along with, "If cleanliness is next to godliness then La Colective are angels (About Us)." I think the reason this bothers me is that at first I thought a lot of these were giving a new image, a different way for them to represent themselves. But later, what does a fairy godmother represent? Magical? Make-believe? Out of the picture? While obviously angels is a bit different, at the same time, that phrase; doesn't it then say that we're angels because of how well we clean? Only further pressing in an identity I feel they are trying to escape. I know this is pushing it a bit, just a thought of mine.

DE for March 30: Group B

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La Colectiva is a collective of Latina women who are currently doing domestic work while simultaneously fighting for their rights as domestic workers. By forming a collective with structure and goals, they are securing work in conditions that are more desirable for them while also having a way to find work that is steady and reliable. And they are even managing to do all this while fighting to change legislation for better protections in their workplaces.

They are approaching change through many different avenues. La Colectiva actively changes current working conditions through using environmentally friendly cleaning products, having a decent wage rate, creating a dignified voice to speak through (the organization itself), and having a community of workers for support. They also look to the future in the Bill of Rights for domestic workers that is posted on their site, which outlines a hope for guarantees for the things they are trying to provide their members, as well as even more rights, including overtime pay, compensation, sick days, and many other things that most workers in other fields take for granted.

DE for march 30

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In the direct engagement for this week, members from Group B should do the following: 

Read through the website for La Colectiva (make sure to click on many of the different links and pages--on the left hand side: read their bill of rights, listen to the profiles in strength and dignity on the gallery page)

Now write some responses to these questions: What is La Colectiva? What strategies/tactics are they using to respond to the problems with domestic labor? How are they using social media/blogs to achieve their goals?

Group B should post their entries by Monday evening. Groups C and D should post comments by Wednesday at noon.