The complaint alleges the women, often minors at the time, labored under “manifestly illegal conditions” that included working without pay for 12 hours-plus without breaks except for food or prayer, no registration in the Social Security system and other violations of basic rights.
Lucía Giménez still suffers pain in her knees from the years she spent scrubbing floors in the men’s bathroom at the Opus Dei residence in Argentina’s capital for hours without pay, AP reports.
Giménez, now 56, joined the conservative Catholic group in her native Paraguay at the age of 14 with the promise she would get an education. But instead of math or history, she was trained in cooking, cleaning and other household chores to serve in Opus Dei residences and retirement homes.
For 18 years she washed clothes, scrubbed bathrooms and attended to the group’s needs for 12 hours a day, with breaks only for meals and praying. Despite her hard labor, she says: “I never saw money in my hands.”
Giménez and 41 other women have filed a complaint against Opus Dei to the Vatican for alleged labor exploitation, as well as abuse of power and of conscience. The Argentine and Paraguayan citizens worked for the movement in Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, Uruguay, Italy and Kazakhstan between 1974 and 2015.
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