Essay by iwantyourskullCollege, Undergraduate April 2006

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Unions are an effective and important way of ensuring workers rights, as I've read these articles this has become clear to me. It was interesting for me to learn, through all the different articles, about the different ways in which people organize as well as the paths and obstacles that they have to take. There often seem to be many similarities as well as differences.

The article by Pierrette Hondagneu-Sotello, "Latina Immigrant Women and Paid Domestic Work," really stuck out to me because of how much it related to my own life. When I was about seven years old my aunt came to visit my family and I in Slovakia, she came bearing gifts from America. To me, any American seemed like a millionaire, and America the land where anything is possible and most people are movie stars. My aunt convinced my mom to go back with her, at first as a vacation kind of thing.

Since my mom was single, and the thought of an American life captivated her, she agreed. Leaving my brother and I in the care of other family members, my mom made the first step toward a "female-first migration stream to the United States" as Sotello called it, (Sotello, 200). In America, my aunt hooked my mom up with an opportunity to make a little money doing domestic work like my aunt, ironically, for those rich Americans we had heard so much about. Much like in the article, my mom established herself in America similarly to many of the women Sotello described, with the same sort of condescending attitudes from employers and poor wages. Although I'm not sure if her pay was a lot worse than the Latina women that Sotello described, I do remember my mom having to establish many different connections...