Domestic workers seek revised minimum wages

The protest was staged on the occasion of International Domestic Workers Day.

CHENNAI: Domestic workers and members from Centre for Women’s Development and Research (CWDR)  staged a demonstration here on Sunday demanding revision of minimum wages and ratification of International Labour Organisation’s (ILO) 2011 convention on domestic workers. The protest was staged on the occasion of International Domestic Workers Day.

At present, the government has fixed the minimum wage at `37 per hour for full time work (8 hours). Even if they work for 28 days a month, they will get on an average only `1,036 from one household, as most domestic workers work only an hour finishing a few chores. The low pay pushes domestic workers to work at many houses, to earn a decent living. These wages were fixed by Tamil Nadu government in August 2018. However, there was no fixed minimum wage earlier. 

R Renuka, founder, CWDR, said this is far below minimum wages and women who work as domestic workers will not be able to sustain a livelihood on that sum as they have to incur  transport charges from their pockets. Also, the time they take to travel from one house to another will not be paid for.

“Most domestic workers work part-time. They do not work for eight hours in a house. They do four or five chores for an hour or two at each house. The government should come up with a minimum wage of `3,000 a month for a set of four chores like brooming, mopping, washing clothes and vessels,” she said.
“The country is a signatory to ILO Convention on Domestic Workers 2011, but eight years later, the convention has not been implemented.”

Renuka said the procedure for getting a domestic worker identity card from the Domestic Workers Welfare Board is extremely difficult in the State.

“Over 15,000 workers stay at Kannagi Nagar alone. Many of them work in Kancheepuram district. They have to spend nearly `250 on transport to come to the office back and forth to get the paper work done to get benefits. So, most workers choose not to get the card. The government should make at least one-day off in a week mandatory,” she said.

Related Stories

No stories found.

The New Indian Express