Struggle for domestic workers’ ILO convention heads for final round - and needs your support

04.03.11 News
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The final discussion on an ILO Convention for Domestic Workers will take place June 1-17 at the International Labour Conference in Geneva – and union action is crucial to ensuring adoption of a strong instrument. Although important battles were won in the discussions last year, the essence of the draft Convention - to provide domestic workers equal rights with other workers – was challenged by employers and some governments, including the EU.

At stake are issues including working time regulations, remuneration (moving away from in-kind payment), health and safety coverage, access to social security, maternity rights and stricter control of labour agencies.

The ILO Workers’ Group will need support from a majority of the governments to ensure that a strong Convention provides the long overdue recognition of these workers’ trade union and human rights.

International union pressure is crucial. Trade unionists can act to ensure that your national center is well informed about the domestic workers’ demands
(see Platform of Demands) and that your government votes in favor of a Convention that provides domestic workers the same basic rights as other workers.

You can find the position of your government, employers organization and trade union center in the ILO “blue report” (Report IV (A)) which contains comments to the conclusions of the 2010 discussions. The proposed texts of a Convention and a Recommendation, which will be the basis for the June discussion, are available here on the ILO web site in a bilingual English/French edition.

Domestic Workers around the world will use International Women’s Day to mobilize support for the Convention. They will need and appreciate your solidarity on this occasion.