Maids to get support of law
REGIONAL GOVERNMENTS and employers have agreed to support decent work for domestic workers.
This means that once the appropriate legislation is put in place, domestic workers would have the right to such things as written contracts, maternity leave protection, and labour inspections.
In making the announcement at a Press conference last Friday, Sir Roy Trotman, general secretary of the Barbados Workers’ Union (BWU), noted that decent work for domestic workers was 65 years in the making.
“We are very pleased to announce to Barbados and the Caribbean that the workers in the ILO [International Labour Organization] have been able to argue and get the support of Governments and employers to adopt Convention 189 on decent work for domestic workers.
“We have been trying for more than 65 years to have an instrument for domestic workers and now we are able to tell the world we have it as well as a recommendation,” he said.
Sir Roy said the achievement was the perfect vehicle from which to again address the issue of minimum wage, adding it was time for “a significant increase” for shop assistants.
Senior assistant general secretary Toni Moore said: “The specific thing about domestic workers is that they work in private households and now these provisions allow for the labour inspectorate to go into homes and investigate cases of harassment and abuse against domestic workers.”
Moore said the next step was to get countries to ratify and implement the provisions into their various legislations.
She added that it was fortunate that domestic workers here were paid a market rate. Still, she said the area of legislation which stipulated domestic workers were entitled to $1.50 per hour had to be corrected, which was one of the things the Employee Rights Bill would address once passed. (CA)