Chicago To Rally at German Consulate to Denounce Abuse of Domestic Workers by Diplomat

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contacts:

Ian Pajer-Rogers, Interfaith Worker Justice | ipajer-rogers@iwj.org

CHICAGO (August 7, 2017) — Two Filipina domestic workers and members of Damayan Migrant Workers Association are suing German diplomat Pit Koehler and his wife Mareike Koehler. In court documents, the workers — who were lured to the U.S. with the promise of a good job that included room, board and a legal wage — allege they were forced to work six days per week, for more than 90 hours, and were paid well below the minimum wage. The women were recruited through a website and brought into the country by Koehler, who at the time was a German civil servant working at the U.N.

Chicago domestic workers and allied organizations will rally in Chicago in solidarity with Damayan in demanding that the German consulate and the Koehler’s be held accountable for their abuse of Edith and Sherile.

WHAT: Rally to demand stolen wages for Filipina domestic workers and end modern day slavery

WHEN: Tuesday, August 8, 2017 at 11 a.m.

WHERE: German Consulate, 676 N Michigan Ave, Chicago IL

WHO: Filipina domestic workers with AFIRE Chicago and their allies, including National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF), and Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ).

VISUALS: Approximately 15 people with posters and bright-colored t-shirts.

We will proceed from the rally to the office of the consulate in order to deliver. Edith Mendoza and Sherile Pahagas, the plaintiffs in the case, will speak at the rally and be available for interviews.

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AFIRE Chicago is a community organization founded by Filipino immigrants that seeks to amplify the voices of those most silenced in our community: undocumented families, new immigrants, domestic workers, low-wage workers, seniors, and youth.

National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum (NAPAWF) is the only national Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) women’s multi-issue advocacy organization in the United States. Our mission is to build a movement to advance social justice and human rights for AAPI individuals who are women, transgender, and gender non-conforming (GNC) people.

Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ) is a national network that builds collective power by advancing the rights of workers through unions, worker centers, and other expressions of the labor movement and by engaging diverse faith communities and allies in joint action, from grassroots organizing to shaping policy at the local, state and national levels.