Each morning, female day laborers across New York City gather on street corners looking for domestic work. House cleaning is a tough industry: workers are vulnerable to unsafe conditions, from exposure to toxic chemicals to working without breaks. Many house cleaners are expected to clean entire rooms on their knees, complete work on unrealistic schedules, and accept illegally low wages.

CUP collaborated with Worker’s Justice Project, designer Yeju Choi, and illustrators Sam Holleran and Hyoungkee Kim to make Stand Up to Clean Up!, a guide that helps workers advocate for safer working conditions and better wages. The illustrated guide spells out labor rights and workplace phrases in Spanish and Polish, giving house cleaners the language tools they need to negotiate wages and stay safe and healthy. 

Stand Up to Clean Up! is being distributed by Worker’s Justice Project and their partners to female day laborers throughout New York City. The guide is part of Worker’s Justice Project’s new workers’ rights campaign to improve conditions and win respect for women day laborers and house cleaners.

Resources & Links

Worker’s Justice Project is an immigrant workers’ rights organization that is winning better working conditions for low-wage immigrant workers.

Yeju Choi is a graphic designer, public artist, and teacher in New York City.

Public Access Design is a program of the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP). Public Access Design projects use design to make complex urban issues accessible to the New Yorkers most affected by them. 

Funding Support

Support for this project was provided by The Rockefeller Foundation’s NYC Cultural Innovation Fund; and public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council.

Special Thanks

Diana Marin, Pema Domingo-Barker, Valeria Mogilevich



  • Project Leads
  • Oscar Nuñez
  • Clara Amenyo
Project Support

  • Christine Gaspar
  • Ingrid Haftel
  • Worker’s Justice Project
  • Advocacy Partner
  • Ligia Guallpa
  • Yadira Sanchez
  • Yeju Choi 
  • Designer

  • Sam Holleran
  • Hyoungkee Kim
  • Illustrators


Advocacy Groups Release Helpful Guide For Williamsburg’s Female Day Laborers
  • Gothamist
  • November 19, 2014

Lillian Gonzalez, a female day laborer, has been in New York for eight years since she moved here from Ecuador. She said she used to work below minimum wage and spent three years cleaning on her knees, because she didn’t have any cleaning supplies. “Now, with this, I can say it or point it out and say I have pain in my knees and back,” she said.