Elaine Duncan

President of the Jamaica Household Workers Union - Jamaica

President of the Jamaica Household Workers Union – Jamaica

I have been a domestic worker for 16 years and a member of the powerful Jamaica Household Workers Union (JHWU) for 15 years. I am honoured to have been elected as the President of the JHWU last year. I have been working, organizing, representing Domestic Workers, leading campaigns and policy efforts to establish labor standards for us domestic workers in Jamaica for over 8 years.

I have supported and led movement building both nationally and internationally in the fight for worker that are excluded from getting decent work. I work with the Union in providing legal counseling for Domestic Workers who face exploitative employment relations. We were extra vigilant with the cases of Domestic Workers who were fired without justification during the Covid-19 crisis.

I have been giving support to our Union’s social innovation projects, including building public-private partnerships, to improve the life of domestic workers throughout Jamaica. In my capacity as an Executive Member of our union I have created awareness and sensitized policy makers to the ILO Convention (No. 189); advocating for its ratification and implementation. I have fought for and will continue to fight for increases in the minimum wage – It needs to be a living wage so workers can take care of families.

I was honoured to be the first Domestic worker ever across the Caribbean to win the Domestic Worker of the year award.

As the Titular Member of the IDWF Executive Committee for the Caribbean, I will bring continuity to the growth and progress of IDWF and promote IDWF message globally and regionally. I will build our organization and serve to the best of my ability. I am trained by the best, Sister SHIRLEY Pryce and ready to give it my all. I have a lot to offer as the IDWF Caribbean and my local union have been fighting for ALL Domestic Workers rights. I will be a voice to ensure IDWF affiliates grow and remain strong – respected and appreciated!

We are very impactful together! We will hold hands together. We will be our sister’s keeper! We will fight for what is rightfully ours! I am committed to work towards the change we all want to see. No one can stop our flow! Forward ever, backward never! Respect, equality and dignity – every Domestic Workers right!

As I will have to be involved in various meetings (online and in-person) on a regular basis to fulfill my responsibilities as an IDWF Exco member, my fellow members of the Jamaica Household Workers Union stand ready to take on more leadership responsibilities to ensure the organization continues to be effective and grow. The JHWU and the rest of the Caribbean affiliates stand in solidarity with my nomination to the Exco and are ready to raise their voices on global issues that we believe are important to advancing the welfare and rights of Domestic Workers in all our regions.