Domestic Workers Wants Labour Regulation Passed

The Domestic Services Workers Union (DSWU) of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) Ghana has called on Government to as a matter of urgency, pass the Domestic Workers Labour Regulation 2016, to ensure equal rights and justice.

The Union said the passage of the regulation would compel employers of their services and society as a whole to adhere to the principle of equality and justice.

Addressing a media conference at the Union’s third anniversary, Madam Esther Kosi, the General Secretary of DSWU called on Government to ratify the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 189 (C189) on ‘Decent Work for Domestic Worker’.

She said: “Passage of the regulation and the ratification of the C189 will promote social protection for domestic workers, including enrolment onto social security systems and health accessibility.

Madam Kosi said it was clear that Gender-Based Violence (GBV) succeeded more in jurisdictions without strong labour policies on domestic work, which increases the vulnerability of workers in the sector.

She said the Union was in full support of the proposed ILO Convention to end GBV in the world of work because it would safeguard the rights, respect and justice of domestic workers across the world and in the country.

She said: “We look forward to the adoption of this ILO instrument next year titled: Ending Violence and Harassment against Men and Women in the World of Work”.

The General Secretary said the DSWU was committed to establishing a strong union through capacity building, leadership development and organisation and recruitment of new members with a strategy to actively engage in alliance building with trade unions, others and civil society organisations.

She said the Union aimed at improving domestic workers’ rights and protections by organising campaigns around the C198, for the adoption of a minimum wage for the sector, and for the protection of migrant domestic workers.

Madam Kosi said labour was central to the realisation of life projects that guarantees human development, however any form of violence was a blatant violation of human rights and was not in line with decent work.

She said GBV remained one of the most tolerated violations of workers’ human rights, which the country must take immediate action to remedy the situation.

The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women, adopted by the General Assembly on December 20, 1993 defined Violence against women as “Any act of gender-based violence that results in or is likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts of coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life”.

The DSWU joined the ranks of workers’ movements in the country with its Founding Conference in September, 2015.

Apart from the TUC Ghana, the Union is affiliated to the International Domestic Workers Federation and by extension, to the International Union of Food and Allied Workers.