Union: Domestic workers let down

2012-12-12 16:39

Johannesburg - Government let down domestic workers by not ratifying the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) Convention 189, a trade union said on Wednesday.

"This convention, signed in June 2011, recognises that domestic work is decent work," the SA Domestic Service and Allied Workers' Union said in a statement.

"December 2012 finds us at 18 months down the line and only five countries having ratified and recognised their responsibility toward their domestic workers."

Convention 189 advocates standardised working conditions for domestic workers, such as minimum wages, rest hours, and leave.

Government's failure to ratify the convention disappointed domestic workers across the country, even though South Africa's representative was very vocal during ILO deliberations, the union said.

"This government clearly does not care for its domestic workers."

The union said it would hold a demonstration at the opening of Parliament next year and called on trade unions, civil society, and domestic workers to show their disappointment with the government.

Comment from the department of labour could not immediately be obtained.

  • george.larkins.14 - 2012-12-12 16:45

    Goverment let everybody down.NOTHING NEW

  • george.larkins.14 - 2012-12-12 16:49

    What is new.GOVERMENT lets everybody down!!!!

      mc.segal.5 - 2012-12-12 17:20

      You beat me to it George

  • Stewart Croucamp - 2012-12-12 17:46

    Learn to do without a domestic worker.

      lacrimose.wolf - 2012-12-12 20:04

      No domestic or gardener since 2001. I still have the same iron, vacuum cleaner (which I used to have to replace annually), all my clothes are intact, my garden thrives and I'm as fit as a fiddle! Haven't had to replace a single cup, glass, plate - or the cooker hood (which in some circles doubles as a step-ladder). Sugar, toilet paper & Handy Andy bill has dropped by 80%. Number of break-ins has dropped from 3-4 a year to 0. OK the latter may be due to better policing but since no-one has my house keys, alarm codes, etc etc, I now do actually get money back on my insurance :)

  • gail.ross.7921 - 2012-12-12 17:49

    Please, the representatives are only interested in making a noise. once heard they lose interest and along with that their false concerns for the people they represent. the only people who really care about their domestics are the families that employ them. when the real work is needed the noisy okes simply disappear.

  • - 2012-12-12 18:12

    So, having read the ILO Convention 189 I can say that it has good intentions and is more than fair: basically sates that domestic work is work like any other, and domestic workers should have the same rights that most of us enjoy in our own employment. But the Convention only come into force in 2013, so I would assume government has some time to ratify it. Also, of course, because it has provisions for minimum wages it will result in more unemployment once it is ratified. Unions will benefit but, as usual, those desperate to work will not.

  • douglas.reid.921 - 2012-12-12 19:02

    Cause they are all from Zimbabwe

  • harold.hayes.31 - 2012-12-12 22:21

    The goverment first need to change the street and town names, then it might start focussing on the people

  • altus.kirsten - 2012-12-12 23:33

    Unions have f@kkol to do but strike!

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