National Union of Domestic Employees (N.U.D.E), Trinidad & Tobago
I am the General Secretary of NUDE, a position I have held for 25 years. In that role, I lead the development and growth of NUDE with Domestic Workers and other low-income workers in my country.
In doing this work, I was the first Trade Unionist to bring cases before the Industrial Court of Trinidad and Tobago for violations of the Minimum Wages Order. I am grateful that we were victorious in leading the campaign, advocating for the decriminalization of the Minimum Wages Act. This gave unions the right to hear cases of non-compliance in the Industrial Court and has spearheaded many victories won on behalf of Low-Income workers in cases of Wrongful Dismissal, retrenchment, and violations of the Maternity Protection Act and the Minimum Wage Act.
My passion does not lie only with grievance handing and advocacy but with training for low-income workers, in particular domestic workers. As such, I’ve coordinated many programs in collaboration with the ILO, UN Women, and other agencies to empower domestic workers and other low-income workers by training them in grievance handling, negotiation, organizing, recruiting, and raising awareness on their rights and entitlements in the workplace.
I also served on several National Bboards Minimum Wages Board, Registration Recognition and Certification Board (RRCB) and Tripartite Committees (144 Committee) representing the National Trade Union Centre (NATUC) and Civil Society. From 2012-14, I also served as former member of the Civil Society Advisory group to UN Women for the Caribbean.
I have worked on behalf of domestic workers and two incomes workers at the National, Regional, and International level seeking protection and equity for them using the CEDAU and ILO Convention as a tool in seeking the protection the need. In this way, as a founding member of the steering committee of the International Domestic Workers Networked (IDWN), I played a pivotal role in the consultations in getting C189 passed at the ILO. I am so proud of the IDWN has evolved to become the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF).
I am also a former 3th Vice President of the National Trade Union Centre (NATUC).
At present, I sit on the steering committee for Women and Worke of the Economic Social and Cultural Rights Network based in New York after being elected for a second term. My focus is providing leadership strategic guidance and substantive inputs to the working group since 2017. As a representative of the social movement, I remain committed to grounding the Network’s work with string activism and connection to grassroots realities particularly the issues concerning informal workers.
With my commitment to social justice, I am an alumna of the huma Rights Advocate Program at the Centre for the Study of Human Rights at Columbia University, in New York. I’m also grateful that I’ve been able to participate in several Training Program at the international Training Centre of the ILO in Turin, Italy on Women Workers’ Tights, Equality in Employment
and Workers with Family Responsibilities (Diploma); International Labour Standards and Globalization “Tools for a Globalization: Tools for a Globalized World of Work” (Certificate) Trade Union Rights and Decent Work for Domestic Workers” and the Gender Academy. Studied Labour Studies at Cipriani College of Labour and Cooperative Studies.
It was an honor to receive an award from the Antigua Trades and Labour Union at their 60th Anniversary for Contribution to Domestic Workers in the Caribbean Region, as well as from Mt. Pleasant Calvary Community Centre through Ministry of Social Development for contribution to Community.
If elected, as the Alternate representative for the Caribbean on the IDWF Executive Committee, I look forward to contributing to the strategic direction, continued growth and oversight of our Federation. I will leverage my networks and years of experience and training to make the organization stringer where I can.
As we continue to build up the leadership core of N.U.D.E, I am confident that the organization will support me in managing my various responsibilities so that I can effectively contribute as an Executive member of the IDWF.