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Caring for AmericaHome Health Workers in the Shadow of the Welfare State$
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Eileen Boris and Jennifer Klein

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195329117

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195329117.001.0001

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Challenging Care

(p.211) Epilogue
Caring for America

Eileen Boris

Jennifer Klein

Oxford University Press

The Epilogue contends that this history has no neat ending. To rethink home care, it takes a hard look at the promises of carework unionism, the dangers of its welfare location, and the pitfalls of relying on political unionism after the Great Recession of 2008 and Republican victories in 2010. It considers the failure to lift the exclusion of home care from the labor law. It then looks at the fate of the unions and workers whose history the book recounts, including the fierce battle over organizing strategy and union democracy that wracked SEIU in California and the impact of budget cutbacks on political deals at the top without sustained grassroots participation. In this global neoliberal moment, the U.S. became the vanguard for other welfare states when it comes to privatizing and individualizing home support for elderly and disabled people. It considers new forms of organizing as exemplified by a renewed domestic worker movement and ends by reaffirming not only the right to care but its value for the economy as well as society.

Keywords:   Barack Obama, Neoliberalism, Long Island Care at Home v. Evelyn Coke, carework economy, Domestic Workers United, SEIU, United Health Care West (UHW), neutrality agreements, public sector collective bargaining

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