You are here: Home / Updates / Dominican Republic: Domestic workers are organizing and there is political will to advance on the implementation of ILO Convention 189
Dominican Republic: Domestic workers are organizing and there is political will to advance on the implementation of ILO Convention 189

Dominican Republic: Domestic workers are organizing and there is political will to advance on the implementation of ILO Convention 189

Comments
by IDWFED published Dec 10, 2019 12:00 AM
The National Committee on Wages in the Dominican Republic invites leaders representing the main organizations of domestic workers to the first meeting held by the government to discuss the criteria in defining the minimum wage by lay for the sector and in compliance to the ILO Convention 189. The meeting will be held on December 11 at 10:00 AM.

Details

DOMINICAN REPUBLIC -

          

The National Committee on Wages in the Dominican Republic invites leaders representing the main organizations of domestic workers to the first meeting held by the government to discuss the criteria in defining the minimum wage by lay for the sector and in compliance to the ILO Convention 189.

 

The meeting will be held on December 11 at 10:00 AM
Ministry of Labor, Salón de la Concertación @MTrabajoRD

The meeting is an inclusive response to the commitment and continuous work of the Ministry of Labor with the organizations that represent the sector: the National Union of Domestic Workers UNFETRAH, subsidiary FENAMUTRA (UNFETRAH / FENAMUTRA), the Association of Domestic Workers (ATH) and the National Domestic Workers Union (SINTRADOMES-CASC).

Representatives of the sector celebrate this invitation as an advancement in the creation of structures and mechanisms of implementation, especially in establishing a minimum salary that guarantees the inclusion of domestic workers in the Family Health Insurance Contribution Scheme (SFS) – the ideal minimum is RD $ 7,500 for inclusion. 

 

In a visit with the Minister of Labor, Winston Antonio Santos on November 27, eight leaders and representatives of the three organizations, reiterated the need to work together to achieve real benefits for the sector.

    

Also present at the meeting were Alberto Santana of the Federación Unitaria de Trabajadores del Turismo, Economía Informal, Comercio y Afines, FUTTEINCO and Vice President of StreetNet International; Adriana Paz, Regional Coordinator for Latin America, IDWF; and Sofia Trevino, from Women in Informal Employment: Globalizing and Organizing (WIEGO).

    

Ruth Díaz, President of FENAUMTRA, presented the spokespersons of the different organizations that advocated for an effective implementation of ILO Convention 189 of and for the rights and protections of domestic workers; especially their inclusion in the Social Security System. If possible, domestic workers would be guarantee fundamental benefits, like any other worker (compensation for accident, pension, disability due to illness, benefit for survivors and compensation for permanent disability).

According to data from the Dominican Republic Senate, there are about 325,000 domestic workers, 96% of whom are women and about a third are Haitian immigrants. They earn less than 50% of the average salary of workers and only 28% of them contribute to social security (Solidarity Center 2013, ILO 2016). This group of workers is also one of the most exploited. They have low incomes, have almost no access to labor rights, suffer manifest forms of violence and abuse, and face enormous challenges to organize. There is also evidence of persistent child and forced labor in the sector, related to human trafficking and migration flows (CSI 2008).

Although the Dominican Republic is classified in the middle-high income countries, according to the DAC list of recipients for official development assistance (ODA), in the latest report of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) ), in terms of inequality the Dominican Republic is classified as one of the four worst countries in Latin America where 50.5% of the population lives in poverty.

Recognition of the sector

Domestic workers in the Dominican Republic have been organizing since the beginning of the 1980s through their own unions, in addition to being part of the Latin American and Caribbean Confederation of Domestic Workers, CONLACTRAHO (since its foundation with Victoria Garcia in 1988 ) and the International Domestic Workers Federation, IDWF (since its foundation in 2013).

Strong and empowered trade union leaders in the sector have been a key component in the ratification process of Convention 189, and are the most appropriate to represent their sector and mobilize women workers to defend their rights. This is demonstrated through its multiple mobilizations that have led to more recent victories,, such as the government proposed a Law in 2012 to include them in social security; and in 2015 ratified ILO Convention 189 that guarantees equal rights among and inclusion in the subsidized regime of the National Health Insurance, SENASA.

The ILO Convention 189 has changed legal norms, opening a new “human right to have labor rights” for the most marginalized (Blackett, 2012). However, these legal norms are not being applied yet and domestic workers are still behind in the application of decent work standards; according to the latest National Survey of Income and Expenses, of the National Statistics Office (ONE). To this population, the Technological Institute of Santo Domingo (Intec) made a study in 2015 that estimates the salary of the sector between RD $ 3,000 to RD $ 5,000 per month.

Elena Pérez, General Secretary of the ATH, considers that “the sector must be categorized as happens with the construction sector that has different types of salaries and that can be done with domestic workers, since we have knowledge that not all of them perform the same tasks or housework.”

With this First Meeting on December 11, the Ministry of Labor in the Dominican Republic continues bilateral conversations, with reinforced commitment to comply with the international standard and its moral duty to correct extreme forms of abuse and exploitation that affects a large segment of the working population.

ATH, FENAMUTRA and SINRADOMSA, together with the IDWF, call upon their support to follow-up to the ILO's report on Convention 189, next February 2020.

The Domestic Workers organizations also thank the meeting on November 26 with Juan Luis Contreras at the National Congress, in representation of Deputy Isabel de la Cruz (@isadelacruzsde). The Deputy de la Cruz, has also been an ally in the labour movement, gender, and environmental protection. At the meeting with Mr. Contreras, the commitments with the domestic sector were reiterated and it was agreed to exchange information for the government to review and work together on fulfilling ILO request on Convention 189 for the Dominican Republic.

     

Leaders of FENAMUTRA, ATH, Sintradomes, IDWF, with Juan Luis Contreras, at the National Congress of the Dominican Republic. On the right, Juan Luis Contreras with Victoria García, leader of the regional movement in Latin America and the Caribbean.

     

Source: En República Dominicana, hay organización de trabajadoras del hogar y voluntad política para avanzar en la implementación del Convenio 189 de la OIT

Story Type: News

blog comments powered by Disqus