Domestic workers demand recognition

Domestic workers demand recognition
One of the domestic workers speaks at the press conference. (NP)
Staff Reporter DIMAPUR, JUL 27 (NPN): | Publish Date: 7/27/2018 11:53:31 PM IST

There are domestic workers in almost every household, but since majority of them are deprived and illiterate, their work is undervalued, underpaid, poorly regulated and contribution to the economy unrecognised.

To highlight the grievances and demands of the domestic works, the National Domestic Workers Movement (NDWM) Nagaland region– the parent body of domestic workers union in Nagaland – held a press conference at the Assisi Centre for Integrated Development, Lakeview Colony, Khermahal here Friday.
Among the many demands, the All Nagaland Domestic Workers Union has demanded the state government to recognise domestic workers as workers by including domestic work in the schedule of employment of the Minimum Wage Act and register the union as a trade union. It may be mentioned that unlike other occupation, domestic work is not recognised as work by the government.
Further, the union has demanded from the central government a comprehensive legislation for domestic workers and withdrawal of labour codes, which the centre has brought in to streamline all labour laws into four labour codes. 
The Ministry of Labour and Employment has been taking steps for simplification, amalgamation and rationalisation of 44 central labour laws into four major labour codes – Code on Wages, Code on Industrial Relations, Code of Social Security, and Code on Occupational Safety, Health and Working Conditions.
However, the domestic workers union has expressed apprehension that the four codes would strengthen the hands of the employers and weaken the hands of the workers in various ways. Union maintained that in the name of simplification, many important protective provisions would be withdrawn and social security privatised.
Under the new labour codes, there would no longer be any labour schedules, the union said, adding that minimum wage would no more be a sector specific. Over all minimum wage would be fixed nationally based on which each state can fix its wage, it stated.
Further, all informal workers would be brought under the universal “poor” category in the name of universalising social security, the union stated.
Currently there are 1650 members registered with the ANDWU, who are mostly live-out domestic workers. However, there are many live-in domestic workers, who are most vulnerable, remain unknown because they stay in the homes of their employers.
National Domestic Workers Movement has been working for promotion and protection of rights of all domestic workers such as decent working conditions, collective bargaining, protection against all forms of abuse, access to social security benefits etc.
Meanwhile, NDWM Nagaland region would also be taking part in the rally of domestic workers under the aegis of National Platform for Domestic Workers (NPDW) on August 2 at 10:30am from Mandi House to Sansad Marg, in New Delhi.

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