NEW DELHI: The Congress will send 1 lakh postcards to PM Modi demanding a central law for the welfare of domestic workers. According to Arbind Singh, Chairman of All India Unorganized Workers Congress, a newly created department in the AICC, the opposition party has planned the drive as the government's proposed policy for domestic workers may not address their concerns adequately.
"A law aimed at securing descent working conditions and regulating placement agencies was the need of the hour," said Singh, who has already submitted the party's draft law to the ministry of labour."One lakh domestic workers from across India will write letters to the Prime Minister from July 15 demanding a central law," he said.
The Congress' draft law is a comprehensive bill looking at various aspects like regulation of working conditions, fixation of wages, holidays, regulation of placement agencies and social security for the domestic workers.
Noting domestic workers were the most vulnerable of the urban poor and suffer on many fronts, Singh said that in absence of any government registration, many a times the Resident Welfare Associations put unnecessary regulations on them. He further said an Emergency Security Fund and portability of registration across the country to access that fund should also be included in the central law. The Congress leaders said that India had not ratified International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention on decent work for domestic workers, though it has been a signatory to it in June 2011.
"The contention of the central government is the national laws and practices are not in conformity with the provisions laid down by the global agency, and as such it has not yet ratified the law. Also the centre is of the view that the domestic work falls under the purview of state sphere," said Singh.
"It is primarily the responsibility of states governments to take action for protecting people including domestic workers from exploitation," he added.