Adhikaar’s Newsletter: July to October
NAIL SALON PROGRAM: #ALLHANDSIN FOR A FAIR AND EQUITABLE INDUSTRY
Many of our Nail Salon members are new immigrants who face language and cultural barriers. It is difficult to navigate finding decent work and building a professional career, especially when the State requires a professional license to work. To address these issues, Adhikaar offers the New York State Nail Salon licensing course, in Nepali at our worker center. We also continued providing Nail Salon on-the-job training for beginners, job placement, license applications, and renewals, along with exam preparation.
Last month, New York State finally implemented the long-awaited ventilation regulation in nail salons. The ventilation regulations were first passed in 2016 after extensive campaigning by Adhikaar and partners in the NY Healthy Nail Salon Coalition (NYHNSC) but had since been extended twice by the Governor’s office. To push implementation of the 2016 policy win, Adhikaar’s Nail Salon members, along with the NYHNSC were at the frontlines – organizing and sharing their stories to raise awareness of reproductive health issues and respiratory problems due to poor workplace ventilation. On mothers day, our staff Pabitra Dash shared her story of reproductive health issues with NY Daily to raise awareness on this issue.
Check out our video highlighting how the reproductive damage disproportionately impacting Nail Salon workers.
In September, our Nail Salon member leader Menuka Simkhada and staff Pabitra Dash attended the “Workers Voice Summit” in Washington DC hosted by the US Department of Labor. During the summit, they engaged with key partners, workers, and advocates to draw attention to issues faced by many Nail Salon workers on a federal level.
In the last quarter, we continued providing health and safety trainings to our Nail Salon members. These trainings are crucial in educating workers on their rights and protection against unhealthy and toxic work environments at the salon. We also met with our Nail Salon steering committee member leaders and organized general meetings with our members in Queens and Brooklyn. Together they attended a multlingual (Nepali, Spanish and English) virtual advocacy training series led by the Advocacy Institute and conducted with the NYHNSC. This training series focuses on educating leaders to understand how a bill is created, identify people in power in Albany, and how we can collectively engage and take action to win our #AllHandsIn campaign in NY.
Stay tuned for the next part of the newsletter on our Domestic Worker and Anti-trafficking Survivors programs.