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 DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants

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MessageSujet: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Mar 30 Juin - 20:47

voir sur mon blog, documents, exploitation, conditions de travail, droits... luttes de classes et de castes

Domestic Workers Worldwide

anti-caste : on caste, women's oppression, communalism, and class struggle in South Asia from a Marxist perspective

migrantes et migrants, émigré-e-s, Domestic Workers...

Domestic Workers – Progress and Ongoing Struggle

Les travailleuses domestiques mangent-elles à leur faim à Singapour ? enquête AlterAsia 29 juin 2015

28 October 2013 - The International Domestic Workers' Federation was born! This is the first global union run entirely by women, and proves that all workers can be organized to fight for their rights

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Domestic workers negotiate new collective agreements in Uruguay and Italy


c'était mieux avant...

Ouvrières trieuses des Mines de Béthune


A group of protesters demonstrate in front of Indian Consulate General in New York on Dec. 20, 2013 in support of Sangeeta Richard and increased protections of domestic workers.  (Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images) Dignitary’s Maid Reveals Indignities of Domestic Work

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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Mar 30 Juin - 22:16

Scenes From Domestic Worker Organizing

Rucha Chitnis a écrit:
Collective Leadership and Movement Building

"I am a home care worker, and I save lives. So why am I paid poverty wages?" LaTanya Cline demanded of an ebullient crowd of domestic workers, unionists and their families at the Justice for Homecare Tribunal in Sacramento. In March 2015, more than 200 members of the California Domestic Workers Coalition traveled to the state capital to demand a living wage, overtime pay and dignity for homecare workers and workers who take care of seniors and people with disabilities.

The coalition's contingent included several worker-organizers from Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), a powerful grassroots organization of Latina immigrant women in the Bay Area. MUA members are raising their voices and asserting their leadership to demand dignity, safety and recognition of the vital services they provide as housekeepers, nannies and caregivers.

Domestic Work Is Invisible Work

"There is an entrenched devaluation of immigrant women workers. Domestic workers are breadwinners of their families throughout Latin America and Asia. In so many ways they are uplifting the economies of their countries through remittances," said Katie Joaquin, campaign director of the California Domestic Workers Coalition. "We see this as an international struggle that is critical to the leadership of women," she said.

There are nearly two million domestic workers in the United States, more than 90 percent of them women, mostly low-income immigrant women from diverse ethnicities. Over the past 25 years, MUA has built a worker-center model of sharing power and harnessing workers' collective bargaining rights. MUA builds the personal and collective leadership, and power of immigrant Latina women, many undocumented, who are disproportionately affected by economic and political marginalization, racism and violence. MUA also works to create safe pathways to citizenship, preventing deportation of immigrant women and their families.

"I Learned That I Have Value."

MUA is rooted in the belief that every woman who walks through its door is a leader. The leadership program is designed to ensure the self-determination of women at home, and through policies which are being shaped by rigorous organizing by domestic workers from coast to coast in the United States. "For the first time I learned that I have value," said Lupe Zamuldio, an undocumented worker from Mexico who recently completed MUA's leadership training. "All my life, I walked with my head down. I didn't know about my rights as an immigrant worker. Today I walk tall and realize that I have value in the society as well."

Claudia Reyes, MUA's lead organizer for workers' rights, explained that this program also offers a place for women to talk about the various traumas they have experienced and begin the process of healing in a safe space of sisterhood. Issues of racism, patriarchy, legal and economic rights are also part of the leadership curriculum. Many members have survived domestic violence, including MUA's resilient co-director, Juana Flores, and receive counseling and advice from certified domestic violence advocates and sexual assault crisis counselors.

Claudia's mother, Maria Huerta Reyes, is an iconic elder in the space - a former domestic worker who joined MUA nearly 17 years ago, and became a powerful advocate for the rights of immigrant women. Maria has recruited hundreds of women to join MUA, participated in hunger strikes for immigrant rights, traveled countless times to Sacramento to organize for the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights and served as president of MUA's board of directors. Maria's leadership journey has inspired and energized other domestic workers, and this year she was honored with a special "movement leader" recognition at MUA's 25th Anniversary Celebrations in San Francisco.

The Future of California's Domestic Workers

In 2013, MUA members played a key role in winning the passage of the historic California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights (AB 241), after an eight-year process of movement- and coalition-building. This significant legislative victory extends overtime protections to women who care for and support hundreds of thousands of individuals and families in California. MUA and its allies at the California Domestic Workers Coalition are now gearing up to introduce a 2016 bill to make these protections permanent; provisions of the bill passed in 2013 are due to expire in 2017.

"There is tremendous strength to link with other organizations. We knew that in order to win, we had to be grounded in the leadership of immigrant women and build the strength of coalitions. A lot of worker organizations have worked hard to shift the visibility and consciousness of domestic work… and the Bill, and the organizing of immigrant women also helped to shift the consciousness of policymakers," said Katie Joaquin.

Lupe Zamuldio migrated to the United States from Mexico in 2001. "The first job that I was offered was working as a full-time nanny, housekeeper and cook for a family for $100 a month," Lupe says. "This seemed very unreasonable to me, and I refused the offer. I ended up working at a panaderia (a bakery) as a cook and cleaner for a starting hourly wage of $6 an hour." (Photo: Rucha Chitnis)

As an undocumented immigrant worker, Lupe says she was unaware of her economic and legal rights. After a family dispute arose, someone suggested she contact Mujeres Unidas y Activas (MUA), and visit their offices in the Fruitvale neighborhood of Oakland. "At MUA, I received legal advice for my personal family matter, as well as legal counseling for my immigration status. I now have filed my papers, and I am on track to get legal status," Lupe said. She ended up participating in MUA's leadership program, where she learned about her labor and legal rights and recognized her personal leadership potential. (Photo: Rucha Chitnis)

"For the first time, I learned that I have value," said Lupe. "I walk with my head high." She is now determined to refer other women to MUA, especially those who are battered from domestic violence. Her employer at the panaderia ended up being sued for violating wage and hour laws, and after being underpaid for nearly 12 years, Lupe is now receiving a minimum wage of $12.50 an hour and lunch breaks. "I want to keep learning and developing myself. I am learning to trust myself, and I would love to study law or teach," she says. (Photo: Rucha Chitnis)

The MUA leadership program affirms the holistic self-determination of immigrant Latina domestic workers—at home, at work, and in state policies. (Photo: Rucha Chitnis)The MUA leadership program affirms the holistic self-determination of immigrant Latina domestic workers - at home, at work, and in state policies. (Photo: Rucha Chitnis)

MUA believes in the power of networks and alliances. In March 2015, MUA members headed to Sacramento to offer solidarity at the Justice for Homecare Tribunal, and advocate for labor rights, fair living wages and the right to overtime compensation. (Photo: Rucha Chitnis)

"If you care about women's rights, you should care about home care workers, the majority of whom are women," said Ai-jen Poo at the tribunal. "My grandmother can age in dignity because of her caregiver," said Poo, director of the National Domestic Workers' Alliance. (Photo: Rucha Chitnis)

UA and its allied labor unions believe that people with disabilities and elders benefit when the rights of homecare workers are protected. "In-Home Supportive Services allows so many families like mine to keep going even when the unexpected happens. Not only do our clients and loved ones get to stay at home, where studies show they are happier and healthier, but homecare also keeps them out of costly institutions and nursing homes - saving the government billions of dollars every year," home care worker LaTanya Cline said in her testimony. MUA and its allied labor unions believe that people with disabilities and elders benefit when the rights of homecare workers are protected. "In-Home Supportive Services allows so many families like mine to keep going even when the unexpected happens. Not only do our clients and loved ones get to stay at home, where studies show they are happier and healthier, but homecare also keeps them out of costly institutions and nursing homes - saving the government billions of dollars every year," home care worker LaTanya Cline said in her testimony. (Photo: Rucha Chitnis)

"My mother was a kitchen girl, my father was a garden boy, that's why I am a unionist!" sang domestic worker organizers from South Africa, Jordan, Morocco and Hong Kong. "We see this as an international struggle that is critical for the leadership of women," said Katie Joaquin, campaign director of the California Domestic Workers Coalition. (Photo: Rucha Chitnis)

"There is an entrenched devaluation of immigrant women workers. Economic justice is important to have freedom and dignity for women. At the heart of the issues of domestic violence is the inability for women to leave a partnership that is abusive if there is no way to economically sustain themselves and their children," said Joaquin. (Photo: Rucha Chitnis)

Two generation of domestic worker organizers and leaders: Claudia Reyes (left) has followed in the footsteps of her courageous mother, Maria Reyes (right). Claudia is the lead organizer for the workers' rights program at MUA and played and important role in passing the Domestic Worker Bill of Rights in California. (Photo: Rucha Chitnis)

Maria Reyes is an iconic elder in the space - a former domestic worker who joined MUA nearly 17 years ago and became a powerful advocate for the rights of immigrant women. Maria has recruited hundreds of women to join MUA, participated in hunger strikes for immigrant rights, traveled countless times to Sacramento to organize for the California Domestic Worker Bill of Rights and served as President of MUA's board of directors. (Photo: Rucha Chitnis)

Sisterhood and solidarity are important offerings for MUA's members, many of whom have survived violence and racism, and experienced deep marginalization based on their identity as immigrant women. (Photo: Rucha Chitnis)

Armael Bulawin Malinis and Edgardo Pichay, male allies and community organizers at Migrante International, an advocacy group that defends the rights and welfare of overseas Filipino workers, raise their fists in solidarity with the rights of home care workers. (Photo: Rucha Chitnis)

Citation :
Rucha Chitnisis a San Francisco Bay Area-based photojournalist and writer, whose stories highlight the power, dignity and counter narratives of women and grassroots movements. She is interested in exploring the intersectionality of gender, race and class in issues of economic and food justice at a time of ecological and climate chaos. Her stories highlight how women of color - indigenous women, women farmers and immigrant women - are reclaiming their stories, debunking the victimization dominant narrative and are shaping their futures and destinies through women's rights organizing and by promoting worker rights, immigration reform and people-centered resiliency efforts. Check out her website: A Woman's Lens.
Twitter: @RuchaChitnis.

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By Staff, National Domestic Workers Alliance | Press Release
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MessageSujet: The problem with ‘buying, swapping and selling’ domestic workers   Sam 4 Juil - 23:10

The problem with ‘buying, swapping and selling’ domestic workers

Athambile Masola is a writer, poet and teacher at Claremont Hight

Les travailleurs domestiques sont toujours en grande part culturellement dépendants d'une dynamique de classe. Compte tenu de notre climat économique et de la mauvaise éducation du système, beaucoup de gens prétendent qu'être un nettoyeur ou un jardinier est mieux que rien, si l'on n'a pas les compétences pour un autre emploi. C'est probablement vrai, mais nous devons considérer les implications de ces relations de pouvoir que cela nous plaise ou non

Le problème avec des employées de maison : « achat, échange et vente »

Athambile Masola a écrit:
I recently came across an advert about a domestic worker. The advert was a Facebook post written on a group called “Westville buy, swap and sell”. The group is used by a variety of people wanting to get rid of household appliances. I became uncomfortable when a black woman was made part of the list of “things” one can buy, swap and sell. This is not the first time I’ve seen an advert of this nature. The first time was a poster on a notice board outside the flat where I lived. It was something along the lines of “Do you need a half-day maid? R100/day”. On a separate occasion I’ve noticed emails asking people if they need a “char” and elaborating on the domestic work done by a black woman with an English name. I’m sympathetic to the fact that domestic work is an option for many working-class women and it often seems that their employers help them by advertising on their behalf so they can find more work.

But why do these ads make me uncomfortable?

One of the things pointed out in the Westville buy, swap and sell advert was that the woman, whose services were being advertised, became an object like a household appliance. I was left wondering whether the domestic worker had been part of crafting the advert with her employer. I also wondered if she was happy with how she was represented. Among other things the ad mentioned that “we have never locked valuables away and nothing has ever gone missing”. The ad also mentioned that she is great with animals and would make a great carer for the elderly.


At face value there’s nothing wrong with this gesture. In fact the responses on the group indicate that this is normal and even kind on the employer’s part. The problems with such advertising however are layered — race, class and gender. The black woman is being advertised as a commodity owned by a white man who no longer needs her services. Such practices have a history where black woman’s bodies were advertised for slavery many centuries ago. It is also significant to point out the power relations between working-class people who need employment and middle-class people who can employ someone for more than 20 years and discard her when they no longer need her.

The advert made me think of the film The Help and the poem My Name by Magoleng wa Selepe. The Help is a movie about domestic workers in the American south during the Jim Crow laws. The film would have us believe that in spite of the political system, black women were happy to be employed and looked after their employers even if they treated them badly because they were still part of the family. I have heard this many times from white people: “Mary has been with us since I was born. She’s a part in of the family now’.”

The glaring problem with such sentiments is that Mary is not part of the family because white families don’t treat each other the way they treat Mary. The poem My Name looks at the very idea of black workers whose names are changed in order for them to secure employment. In the black community a similar thing may happen where the domestic worker is not addressed by her name: she might be referred to as “Sisi” or “Auntie” or her clan name is used. The point is their identity often changes when they become a domestic worker because their status is that of a worker and that’s all that matters.

The obvious problem with the advert I saw on Facebook is that it is potentially racist and that the racism is not overt. Is it ethical for people to advertise their domestic worker on social media or send emails on their behalf when they no longer need their service? If the advert isn’t racist then it’s possibly an example of the fraught nature of the role of the domestic worker. It also highlights the position of black working-class women who are dispensable and vulnerable in a system that sees them as the help and balancing their humanity at the same time.

Would it be better if I saw an advert for domestic workers on a website created by black women advertising themselves the way middle-class people have recruitment websites? I’m not sure but I would probably not be as uncomfortable. The agency of a black woman in the position of “the help” is compromised when she is advertised on a website that also advertises chairs and random household appliances. The advert also calls into question privilege and the things people say and do when they think black people are not there to see, hear or judge what they say about black people. The email and the poster I mention are an example of both white and class privilege: if someone in a privileged position wants something (or no longer needs domestic help in the case of this domestic worker on Facebook) they can explore certain avenues to get what they want.

Domestic workers are still a strong part of a culture reliant on class dynamics. Given our economic climate and bad education system many people would argue that being a cleaner or a gardener is better than nothing if someone doesn’t have the skills for other employment. This is probably true but we must consider the implications of these power relations whether we like it or not.

Les travailleurs domestiques sont toujours en grande part culturellement dépendants d'une dynamique de classe. Compte tenu de notre climat économique et de la mauvaise éducation du système, beaucoup de gens prétendent qu'être un nettoyeur ou un jardinier est mieux que rien, si l'on n'a pas les compétences pour un autre emploi. C'est probablement vrai, mais nous devons considérer les implications de ces relations de pouvoir que cela nous plaise ou non
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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Dim 5 Juil - 13:04

Les « petites bonnes » au Maroc : nouveau visage de l’esclavagisme Siham Mengad / Hicham El Moussaoui

« un changement dans la division du travail entre les hommes et les femmes. Ces dernières se retrouvent de plus en plus à travailler à l’extérieur et n’ont plus suffisamment de temps pour assurer certaines tâches ménagères. Le besoin croissant pour les femmes d’avoir un «substitut» domestique qui permet à un plus grand nombre d’entre elles d’accéder au marché du travail, mais aussi de permettre à d’autres filles de poursuivre tranquillement leurs études, a accru la demande de bonnes »

Siham Mengad a écrit:
Selon le « collectif pour l’éradication du travail des petites bonnes », entre 60 000 et 80 000 fillettes de 8 à 15 ans sont exploitées comme domestiques au Maroc. Une forme de traite humaine perdurant dans ce pays demeuré très inégalitaire, et qui touche la majorité des pauvres. Comment en est-on arrivés là ? Et comment s’en sortir ?

Appréhender un tel phénomène n’est pas chose aisée, mais l’on peut structurer les principaux déterminants autour de deux aspects : l’offre et la demande du travail domestique. Du côté de l’offre, le chômage (9,9% en 2014) et son corollaire la pauvreté (15% en 2014), conduisent les parents à devenir incapables de subvenir aux besoins de base de leurs enfants, ce qui les contraint à donner leurs petites filles à des familles plus aisées afin, d’une part, de se décharger du fardeau de subvenir à leurs besoins, et d’autre part, avoir un revenu supplémentaire, quoique modeste, pour être capable d’assumer la charge des autres enfants. Dans les familles nombreuses, les parents en position de faiblesse n’ont pas vraiment les moyens de négocier des conditions dignes pour l’accueil de leurs filles, ce qui explique aussi que les familles d’accueil ont tendance à abuser de leur pouvoir, surtout devant le silence des petites filles. Celles-ci deviennent en quelque sorte le bouc émissaire de l’incapacité des parents à assumer leurs responsabilités. La rareté des opportunités d’emplois et d’activités génératrices de revenus, rend le travail des petites filles dans les villes inéluctable. L’endettement des parents les pousse à donner leurs filles sans se préoccuper des conditions de leur travail.

Par ailleurs, l’analphabétisme des petites filles (53% des analphabètes) résultant de leur exclusion de la scolarisation, limite l’horizon des opportunités à leur disposition, ce qui rend le travail dans les foyers des autres « une opportunité ». La division sexuelle du travail (hommes à l’extérieur/femmes à l’intérieur), enracinée encore dans la société marocaine, justifie encore cette situation aux yeux de plusieurs personnes, puisque d’après eux la cuisine est le lieu « normal » pour la gente féminine. Et ce n’est pas le chef du gouvernement marocain, M. Benkirane, qui dira le contraire.

Cette culture résultant de l’ignorance des familles a « normalisé » le travail de la « fille mineure ». Elle a permis même, vu le contexte de rareté, de la considérer comme une source légitime de revenu complémentaire. Certains parents y voient même une chance pour leurs petites filles car elles vont être sauvées de la misère et ça leur ouvrira d’autres portes, notamment celles du mariage. Le statut des jeunes filles inférieur à celui du garçon, dans un pan important de la société marocaine, accentue sa vulnérabilité et les rende sujette à tous les « débordements » et à tous handicaps sociaux (déscolarisation, exploitation).

Du côté de la demande, si aujourd’hui les petites filles, de parents pauvres, sont sollicitées c’est parce que le mode de vie des Marocains a évolué. Ainsi, le taux d’urbanisation est passé à 60%, ce qui implique un changement dans la division du travail entre les hommes et les femmes. Ces dernières se retrouvent de plus en plus à travailler à l’extérieur et n’ont plus suffisamment de temps pour assurer certaines tâches ménagères. Le besoin croissant pour les femmes d’avoir un «substitut» domestique qui permet à un plus grand nombre d’entre elles d’accéder au marché du travail, mais aussi de permettre à d’autres filles de poursuivre tranquillement leurs études, a accru la demande de bonnes. Un besoin qui a été amplifié par l’absence d’horaires aménagés pour qu’elles puissent assurer quelques tâches domestiques, mais aussi par la rareté des crèches, le déficit dans des services aussi comme le transport scolaire. Autrement dit, la femme marocaine n’est pas du tout aidée logistiquement parlant, d’autant qu’elle n’a pas toujours les moyens d’acquérir les équipements électroménagers lui permettant de gagner en temps et en énergie.

Si les facteurs susvisés expliquent les raisons d’être du travail des petites bonnes, c’est le vide juridique qui permet à des familles de les exploiter. L’absence de contrat explicite entre les parents et la famille d’accueil ouvre la porte à tous les abus et fragilise la position des petites filles, qui deviennent soumises au bon vouloir et parfois aux pires sévices de leurs employeur(e)s. Aussi, l’absence de définition de la traite des personnes en droit interne ne peut permettre de sanctionner ces abus et encourage l’impunité. Le manque de protection juridique des petites filles qui subissent cette exploitation, les dissuadent de révéler les sévices qu’elles subissent. D’où la nécessité, de mettre en place une loi spécifique définissant la traite des personnes, car le code du travail marocain laisse en dehors de son champ d’application le travail domestique dont les conditions d’emploi et de travail doivent être fixées par une loi spéciale (article 4). Après la publication du code de travail, la loi spéciale prévue par le code n’a jamais vu le jour, alors que des agences de placement du personnel de maison commencent à s’installer au Maroc en l’absence de réglementation de la profession. De même, le code ne régit pas le travail informel qui constitue avec le travail à domicile les domaines privilégiés du travail des mineurs, notamment les filles pour le travail à domicile et les garçons dans les ateliers. Il est besoin d’une loi qui interdit le travail des mineurs. Elle doit être accompagnée bien évidemment d’un grand travail de sensibilisation de tous les maillons de la chaine judiciaire et toutes les parties prenantes afin de la rendre effective.

Parallèlement à cette loi, il est bien évidemment incontournable de traiter les facteurs qui favorisent l’offre et la demande du travail des petites bonnes. La scolarisation des filles est incontournable pour leur offrir des perspectives d’emploi plus intéressantes que les tâches ménagères. La lutte contre la pauvreté dans le monde rural est une nécessité pour permettre aux parents de subvenir aux besoins de leurs enfants. De même, fournir aux femmes qui travaillent la logistique et les prestations sociales leur permettant de concilier leur vie professionnelle avec leur vue personnelle, est une nécessité. Enfin, pour un suivi efficace et un ajustement des mesures à prendre, un observatoire de ce phénomène est incontournable.

Somme toute, le travail domestique n’est pas à combattre en soi, mais c’est contre le travail domestique assuré par des filles mineures et toutes les formes d’exploitation qu’elles subissent, qu’il faudrait lutter.

Hicham El Moussaoui Maitre de conférences en économie à l’université Sultan Moulay Slimane (Maroc) & Siham Mengad, docteur en droit public. Le 24 juin 2015
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MessageSujet: Lebanon's Domestic Workers Move to Protect Rights   Mer 22 Juil - 19:32


Lebanon's Domestic Workers Move to Protect Rights

Migrant domestic workers in Lebanon are set to protect their rights under a trade union - the first such syndicate in the Arab world where more than 2.4 million foreign domestic workers labor under often harsh conditions.

Citation :
The Labor Ministry said Monday they received a proposal from the National Federation of Labor Unions to form the syndicate in Lebanon. Migrant workers in Lebanon - mostly from Ethiopia, Sri Lanka and the Philippines - have fallen victim to unpaid wages, forced labor and even physical and sexual abuse.

At the root of the problem is the “kafala” system, or employee sponsorship arrangement inspired by Gulf Arab countries. Those systems hold the employer legally responsible for their migrant employee. Under this arrangement, domestic workers must rely on employers for their right to live and work in the country.


“We are trying to change the ‘kafala’ system so we can have steady salaries and fixed work hours,”
said Sujana Rana, a 36-year-old domestic worker from Nepal.

An amateur video showing a suicidal Ethiopian maid jumping from the fourth-floor balcony of her employer’s apartment last November highlighted the level of desperation of some domestic workers in Lebanon.

“They are trapped by the ‘kafala’ system,” said Nadim Houry of Human Rights Watch. “In this case it was someone who tried to kill herself and in other cases people are falling to their deaths because they are trying to escape from apartments.”

The Labor Ministry will study the proposal determine whether the union’s status is covered by the law, said Marlene Atallah, head of the ministry’s foreign workers division.

“We are trying to help these women but there are obstacles,” she said.

According to the Lebanese labor code, foreign workers cannot create their own union. However, domestic workers may belong to a new housekeepers union as long as it includes some Lebanese members.

“It’s a big step forward,” said Lily Jacqueline, a 49-year-old maid from Madagascar. “Maybe we could have a common contract for all domestic workers and force employers to abide by it.”

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MessageSujet: Servants of Globalization Women, Migration, and Domestic Work   Ven 31 Juil - 18:01


Servants of Globalization Women, Migration, and Domestic Work

Citation :
Servants of Globalization is a poignant and often troubling study of migrant Filipina domestic workers who leave their own families behind to do the mothering and caretaking work of the global economy in countries throughout the world. It specifically focuses on the emergence of parallel lives among such workers in the cities of Rome and Los Angeles, two main destinations for Filipina migration.

The book is largely based on interviews with domestic workers, but the book also powerfully portrays the larger economic picture as domestic workers from developing countries increasingly come to perform the menial labor of the global economy. This is often done at great cost to the relations with their own split-apart families. The experiences of migrant Filipina domestic workers are also shown to entail a feeling of exclusion from their host society, a downward mobility from their professional jobs in the Philippines, and an encounter with both solidarity and competition from other migrant workers in their communities.

The author applies a new theoretical lens to the study of migration—the level of the subject, moving away from the two dominant theoretical models in migration literature, the macro and the intermediate. At the same time, she analyzes the three spatial terrains of the various institutions that migrant Filipina domestic workers inhabit—the local, the transnational, and the global. She draws upon the literature of international migration, sociology of the family, women's work, and cultural studies to illustrate the reconfiguration of the family community and social identity in migration and globalization. The book shows how globalization not only propels the migration of Filipina domestic workers but also results in the formation of parallel realities among them in cities with greatly different contexts of reception.

Rhacel Salazar Parreñas is Professor of Women's and Asian American Studies at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

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MessageSujet: South African Domestic Workers and the Democratic State   Ven 31 Juil - 18:07


South African Domestic Workers and the Democratic State

Citation :
In the past decade, hundreds of thousands of women from poorer countries have braved treacherous journeys to richer countries to work as poorly paid domestic workers. Scholars and activists denounce compromised forms of citizenship that expose these women to at times shocking exploitation and abuse.

In From Servants to Workers, Shireen Ally asks whether the low wages and poor working conditions so characteristic of migrant domestic work can truly be resolved by means of the extension of citizenship rights. Following South Africa's "miraculous" transition to democracy, more than a million poor black women who had endured a despotic organization of paid domestic work under apartheid became the beneficiaries of one of the world's most impressive and extensive efforts to formalize and modernize paid domestic work through state regulation. Instead of undergoing a dramatic transformation, servitude relations stubbornly resisted change. Ally locates an explanation for this in the tension between the forms of power deployed by the state in its efforts to protect workers, on the one hand, and the forms of power workers recover through the intimate nature of their work, on the other.

Listening attentively to workers' own narrations of their entry into democratic citizenship-rights, Ally explores the political implications of paid domestic work as an intimate form of labor. From Servants to Workers integrates sociological insights with the often-heartbreaking life histories of female domestic workers in South Africa and provides rich detail of the streets, homes, and churches of Johannesburg where these women work, live, and socialize.

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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Ven 31 Juil - 18:16

Karin Pape Regional Coordinator for Europe

Citation :
Helping Households Work Around the World

According to the International Labour Office (ILO), “tens of millions” of domestic workers provide essential services that enable others to work outside their homes. Thus domestic workers help keep labour markets and economies working around the globe.

Most, though not all, domestic workers are women. The vast majority are from the poorer sections of society (ILO 2007).

What Domestic Workers Do

Domestic workers work in the homes of others for pay, providing a range of services: they sweep and clean; wash clothes and dishes; shop and cook; care for children, the elderly, and the disabled; they provide gardening, driving, and security services. Some live on the premises of their employer. Others work part time, often for multiple employers.

Women are concentrated in cleaning and care services, while men tend to have the better paying jobs as gardeners, drivers, or security guards.

For more information, see Typology of Domestic Workers.

See the latest news from around the globe on domestic workers.

Statistical Snapshot

Domestic workers

Domestic work is a large – and in some countries growing – sector of employment, especially for women. The latest conservative estimates find the number of domestic workers increased from 33.2 million in 1995 to 52.6 million in 2010 – or 3.6 per cent of global wage employment (ILO and WIEGO 2013). However, since domestic workers are undercounted in labour force surveys, the number could be far higher.

In 2010, domestic work was highest as a percentage of total employment in Latin America and the Caribbean (7.6 per cent) followed by the Middle East (5.6 per cent).

Global and Regional Estimates by the ILO of the Number of Domestic Workers (women and men)

Women’s Work

Women accounted for about 83 per cent of counted domestic workers in 2010. As a percentage ofwomen’s wage employment, as of total wage employment, the greatest proportions were found in Latin America and the Caribbean and the Middle East. Domestic work is also a major employer of women in Asia and Africa, according to the International Labour Organization (ILO). In the Middle East, one out of three women wage employees is domestic worker, and in Latin America and the Caribbean, the figure is one in four (ILO and WIEGO 2013). However, in only a few countries are more than 1 per cent of men employed in domestic service.

Measurement Challenges

WIEGO’s Statistics team has identified three main challenges to measuring domestic workers:
•the definition challenge: what types of activities should be included?
•a classification and coding challenge: which statistical classification system should be used and how many codes are needed to cover all types of domestic work?
•a tabulation challenge: how to tabulate data with different codes at different levels of classification?

For technical details, see Measurement Challenges for Domestic Workers.

Migrant Workers

Women (and girls) now make up about half of the estimated 200 million migrants worldwide. Domestic workers are an important part of this growing trend.

Asia is a large source of international migrants who work as domestics. As of the mid-2000s, around 6.3 million Asian migrants were legally living and working in the more developed Asian countries (United Nations Population Fund 2006). An estimated 1.2 million additional undocumented migrants are in the region, many working as domestic workers  (United Nations Population Fund 2006).

Arab countries employ millions of migrant domestic workers. In Saudi Arabia there are approximately 1.5 million domestic workers (Human Rights Watch 2008) – again, most came from Indonesia, the Philippines and Sri Lanka.

In Latin America, domestic workers (most women) account for up to 60 per cent of internal and cross-border migrants. Young women, in particular, migrate from rural areas to cities or from lower income to higher income countries. Women migrants from Mexico and other parts of Latin America make up most of the domestic workforce in the USA  (United Nations Population Fund 2006), accounting for 58 per cent of workers in personal and related services in 2000.

In December 2013, the International Domestic Workers’ Federation issued a statement about migrant domestic workers in which they expressed concern about increasing discrimination and exploitation, and the continuous violation of basic workers’ rights and human rights of migrant domestic workers.

Child Labour

The ILO estimates that globally, as many as 7.4 million children under age of 15 work in domestic service, especially in the developing world. They are particularly hidden and among the most difficult to survey (ILO and WIEGO 2013).    

Driving Forces & Working Conditions

Domestic workers tend to have lower wages, fewer benefits, and less legal or social protections compared to most other wage workers, with the probable exception of casual day labourers and industrial outworkers. Very few domestic workers have labour contracts. They usually have no maternity leave, health care or pension provision.

In many countries they are excluded from labour law and social security protection, or inferior standards apply. Even where protective laws are on the statute books, they are frequently ignored by employers and not enforced by authorities. An ILO report examining legislation for domestic workers in over 60 countries noted that, “Regardless of the manner in which domestic work is regulated by national laws, standards on domestic work fall below labour standards set for other categories of workers” (Ramirez-Machado 2003: 64).

Why Women Do This Work

Many factors lead women to enter domestic work. Women from poor households or disadvantaged communities often have few employment opportunities, and may face discrimination based on gender, caste or class, race or ethnicity. Cleaning, cooking, and caring for children and the elderly is almost universally regarded as women’s work, so men rarely compete in this job market.
Low levels of education and few marketable skills also play a role. However, some domestic workers who migrate from places such as the Philippines and Eastern Europe have medium or high levels of education (Ramirez-Machado 2003).

Demand for domestic services is growing due to demographic, social and employment trends. These include women working outside the home, a decline in public provision of care services, and the disappearance of extended family support. Affordable domestic workers free up other women to work outside the home.

Rural poverty has increased in many countries, causing young women to move to urban areas in search of employment.

Working Conditions

Most domestic work is informal – performed outside of labour regulations and social protections. To borrow the title of the Social Law Project Conference held in Cape Town, South Africa in May 2010, domestic workers are “exploited, undervalued – and essential.” (Read a subsequent publication: Darcy du Toit, Editor. 2013. Exploited, Undervalued - And Essential: Domestic Workers and the Realisation of their Rights, Pretoria University Law Press.)

Several common features of domestic work set it apart from other types of paid work. First, domestic workers are employed in private homes rather than firms or enterprises. This tends to make them invisible as workers and isolated from others in the sector. They are dependent on the good or bad will of their employer. Despite the concept of the home as “safe haven”, growing evidence suggests domestic workers are exposed to a range of unhealthy and hazardous working conditions (see Peggie Smith, The Pitfalls of Home: Protecting the Health and Safety of Paid Domestics 2011).

In some cases, domestic workers are hired by third-party agencies, which are technically the employer ; however, the agency may see its role only as negotiating the placement, not overseeing working conditions. In other cases, agencies act only as “brokers”. These are sometimes linked to criminal activity, and charge the domestic worker a lot of money, promising services which are never delivered.

Some countries, including Ireland and Uruguay, have passed legislation mandating the inspection of private households (ILO 2010).

Domestic workers often have a personal, intimate knowledge of their employers, but the relationship is highly unequal, leaving many domestic workers vulnerable to verbal, physical, or sexual abuse. Often differences in race, class, and citizenship increase this inequality.
Also, most of the tasks involved in domestic work are seen as “women’s work”, so are considered of low status and value. Tasks such as gardening, driving, or guarding have higher status and are typically performed by men.

Finally, a widespread perception that labour standards cannot be enforced in the private home means many employers do not comply with and government does not enforce labour laws regarding wages, benefits, and working conditions. See Policies & Programmes , below.

Specific Challenges

Certain categories of domestic workers face specific working conditions that exacerbate the disadvantages. Live-in domestic workers experience greater isolation, less privacy and more limited mobility, work longer hours and receive a larger share of payments in kind (such as board). Living conditions are frequently sub-standard. They are also more vulnerable to physical/sexual abuse by employers.

Migrant domestic workers often live in the employers’ home, facing not only the challenges of live-in domestics but also abuses within the recruitment system and from police and immigration authorities, including advance commission fees, withheld wages and passports, and verbal, physical, or sexual harassment. To protect migrant domestic workers, laws and regulations are needed at the international level and in both sending and receiving countries.

Trafficked domestic workers face the challenges of migrant domestic workers, but these are compounded by the “extra-legal” operations of their recruiters and the near-bondage conditions they may live in. Some recruiters keep the workers’ passports.

Finally, child domestic workers need special attention.

Data on wages in domestic work are available in the ILO Bureau of Statistics Database for only a few countries. The data show that women employed in domestic work receive lower wages than women working in most other jobs, and lower wages than men working as domestic workers.
A compilation of official data from 19 Latin American countries indicates that the earnings of domestic workers are among the lowest of all occupations (Tokman 2010).
•Across Latin America, women’s earnings in domestic work are 73 per cent of men’s.
•Domestic workers earn 41 per cent of the earnings of the urban workforce.
•Women domestic workers earn only 76 per cent of the earnings of all women in informal employment.
•36 per cent of domestic workers are from households below the poverty line, compared to 26 per cent of the total urban workforce and 35 per cent of wage workers in informal enterprises.
•In Costa Rica, women domestic workers earn an average of 40 per cent of the wages paid to other women workers, while the comparable ratio for men is 67 per cent
•The proportion of domestic workers with labour contracts and/or social protections is very low compared to other occupations.

It is likely these patterns would be observed in other regions of the world if data were available.

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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Sam 15 Aoû - 22:44

South Africa’s domestic workers gain a minimum wage Luso Mnthali 4 August 2015

South Africa is a country full of iconic, apartheid-era protest songs, but one of the most famous contains the lines: “My mother was a kitchen girl/My father was a garden boy/And that is why I’m a unionist/I’m a unionist/I’m a unionist!” [Editor’s note: other versions also end with "I’m a communist" or "I’m a socialist"]

There are approximately one million women employed as domestic workers in South Africa.
As these lyrics demonstrate, domestic workers – nannies, maids, gardeners and drivers –
have historically occupied an important space in South African society. And they continue to do so

Luso Mnthali a écrit:
In South Africa, domestic work isn’t just a job. It is emblematic of the country’s massive social inequality which is rooted in its racially segregated past.

White South Africans rarely work as domestics, certainly not white men. But for generations, black and coloured (mixed-race) women have cared for other people’s children and homes – often at the expense of their own.

There are approximately one million women employed as domestic workers in South Africa.

Despite the introduction of a new minimum wage for domestic workers last December – those who work more than 27 hours a week will by the end of the year earn a monthly wage of between 1812.57 rand (approximately US$155) and 2065.47 rand (approximately US$175) – most domestic workers still don’t earn anything close to a living wage.

According to a new tool for employers, a living wage for a domestic worker with three dependents should come to R5056 (US$426.50), which is almost R3000 (US$250) less than the new sectoral minimum wage.

In addition, employers must contribute one per cent of a domestic worker’s wage (provided that they work more than 24 hours a month) to an Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) but a recent study shows that up to 50 per cent of domestic workers are not covered by this insurance.

The UIF is crucial in a sector where job insecurity runs rife. Many domestic workers have no formal employment contracts, for example, relying instead on verbal agreements which can be easily rescinded. Although the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) is there to act as mediator during labour disputes, many cases are not brought forward by women who remain uneducated and poor, and are usually unaware of their rights.

Casual exploitation

The lives of domestic workers are usually hidden from public view but last year, a massive debate was sparked following the publication of an article entitled A Day In the Life of a South African Maid.

It was a story of casual exploitation. The woman interviewed performed multiple domestic roles as a cook, cleaner and child minder for just R3500 (US$300) a month. It’s an amount way above the sectoral minimum but it is still not enough to stop her children from living in a cold, damp house with a leaky roof.

The conditions of employment for domestic workers vary from house to house, but along with miners, domestic workers have long endured one of the most exploitative employment relationships in South Africa’s history.

Apartheid laws meant that generations of black and coloured women were denied access to education, thus creating a labour pool of unskilled workers who have been funnelled into low-paying domestic work.

Cheryl Louw is one such person. The 44-year-old mother-of-two works for a white, Afrikaans-speaking family in one of Cape Town’s wealthiest neighbourhoods. She says her employers – a doctor and an engineer – treat her well, but her vocation was not of her choosing.

“Because I didn’t have education, because of apartheid, I have to do this job now. I didn’t want to be a domestic.”

Louw lives in the township of Khayelitsha, renting space in a wendy house [editor’s note: a low-cost pre-fabricated dwelling] in the back of someone’s property, which is a common occurrence amongst South Africa’s working poor.

With a monthly transport bill of R300 (approximately US$25) and rent and electricity costing her R650 (US$55) a month, Cheryl has very little left for herself once she has sent some money home to her mother and children in Oudtshoorn some 400 kilometres away from Cape Town.

Cheryl leaves home at 05.20 every day and takes a train, followed by a minibus taxi loaded with other workers in order to start work at 08.00.

It is hard work and long days but Cheryl, who has had this job for 15 years, says she is grateful for the work. “I was suffering without earning, when I was home. Now I earn something.”

But she has had to pay a price. “It’s painful. You sit with other people’s kids and you miss your own.”

She says she wants a better life for her 24-year-old son and 15-year-old daughter and constantly reminds them about the importance of education.

“I can’t even imagine that [my daughter] could do something like this.”

Dignity and respect

For the women who work in other people’s houses, being treated with dignity and respect is something that is difficult to legislate.

But the key issue remains how South Africa’s domestic workers will go from earning a minimum wage to a true living wage.

Despite the efforts of unions such as the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers Union (SADSAWU), this may still be a long way off.

Myrtle Witbooi, the secretary general of SADSAWU and chair of the International Domestic Workers Network, is herself a former domestic worker.

She told Equal Times: “The sectoral determination has been a great help if workers are aware of their rights, but we still need to do a lot more education and awareness on the Basic Conditions of Employment Act.”

Although the new wage is more than domestic workers have ever earned, it is still not enough.

Witbooi. a écrit:
“No, we are not satisfied with the new wage and we are busy setting up a meeting with the Minister of Labour. For a domestic worker, a R100 increase doesn’t make a difference. Our demands remain [an increase of] between R3000 or R3500. We also want a travel allowance for those workers that need to travel daily to work,”

According to Debbie Budlender, an academic and social scientist who wrote a paper entitled The introduction of a minimum wage for domestic workers in South Africa for the ILO, the other unfinished business of the minimum wage is the lack of pension for domestic workers.

Simply put, workers can only contribute to their retirement fund if they earn enough money to put some aside. Right now, the majority of domestic workers in South Africa do not. However, campaigners hope that once South Africa’s domestics start earning a living wage, they will no longer be condemned to spend their retirement years in poverty.

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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Sam 15 Aoû - 22:51

An African-American woman cleaning a window.  
by CDC/ Dawn Arlotta acquired from Public Health Image Library

Bad housekeeping: the plight of domestic workers Kevin Redmayne August 3, 2015

The abuse and violence in this exploitative industry must stop, writes Kevin Redmayne.

Kevin Redmayne a écrit:
In Colombo, the sweltering capital of Sri Lanka, the Domestic Workers Union is picketing outside the Supreme Court. Sarath Abrew, a high-ranking judge, has been accused of sexually assaulting a chambermaid, fracturing her skull and leaving her for dead. The protesters are not only demanding justice, but also new laws to safeguard their rights. In an exploitative industry, this can’t be just another day – the violence has to stop.

Right now, there are 53 million people working as domestics in countries all over the globe, amounting to 1.7% of the world’s employed. Of this group, 83% are female, which means 1 in 13 wage-earning women is in domestic work. More worryingly, so are 17.2 million children, many too young to give informed consent.

The International Labour Organization (ILO) estimates that domestic workers earn less than 50% of the average salary of any particular nation. This means that workers in the developing world could earn a salary lower than $8,000 a year or, worse still, no salary at all. Job titles include housemaid, servant, cook, gardener, governess, babysitter or care-giver. We rarely use the term ‘slave’ but in many cases this is effectively what the workers are.

The ILO recently warned of the ‘invisibility’ of domestic work. The reality is much more damaging than poor pay and long hours. Many employees have no legal protection and are often given unlawful contracts, unfair terms and unethical job descriptions. They are perilously close to being victims of crime or destitution.

Half of all domestic workers have no limitation on the number of hours they can be called to work in a day; 45% have no entitlement to rest periods or paid annual leave. Most will subsist on zero-hour contracts, and work for wages that breach employment law. The practice of ‘payment in kind’ – that is, food or shelter in exchange for service – is still common. Aside from this, it is not unheard of for monthly payments to be delayed, deducted or missed, while unpaid overtime and the non-remuneration of standby periods continue unabated.

The dark side of all this is that domestic work can lead to slavery. Domestics fall prey to sex traffickers, pornographic industries, drug-running, servitude and imprisonment. The recent scandals involving the human rights abuses of migratory workers in Qatar show that forced labour is a real possibility. Beyond the big dangers of rape and physical violence are the more common practices of food-rationing, blackmail, surveillance, threat and intimidation. This low-level abuse goes unnoticed around the world and traps employees in a cycle of neglect.

In 2011 calls for industry regulation became louder. The ILO created the Convention on Domestic Workers 189 & Recommendation 201. The clauses put forward were an entitlement to a 24-hour rest period once a week, a minimum wage, a place to live and, finally, the right to receive a lawful contract. Presented in June that year, it was an important step in securing rights and promoting safety. Yet the fact it was ratified by only 16 states shows that work remains to be done.

Perhaps this is a time to reflect: in today’s globalized world the tourist industry is booming. Part of any holiday is being pampered, but the adventure comes at a cost. After we fly home, the maid is left continuing her rounds day and night. We often see domestic workers as victims of their own ignorance, but the truth is they are from the most vulnerable communities in the world. Many employed in the sector are migrants, escaping war or poverty; most will have little or no education; and all will have faced exclusion and discrimination. Inadequate legislation and unscrupulous employers mean the disaffection comes full circle.

However, domestic workers don’t just fluff our pillows; they work in care homes, hospitals, psychiatric units and orphanages. They provide for themselves, for their families and, of course, for us and the wider economy. The recent case in Sri Lanka shows they also become victims of crime.

‘Out of sight, out of mind’ is an adage we are all guilty of at one time or another, but it has a trickle-down effect. By not looking, we fail to see the harsh reality of the service sector in general. But shining a light on this ‘invisible’ industry should promote change. While the ILO convention may be overreaching, it is better than avoiding responsibility altogether. Transnational employment law is a way to stop the clock. It gives domestic workers a livelihood, but also a life outside of work.

Kevin Redmayne is a freelance journalist living and working in Britain. After a recent stint as a Public-Engagement Officer at Plan International, he has decided to follow his passion for writing and activism, and add his voice to the debate. More of his work can be found at:

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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Sam 15 Aoû - 22:56

Asia’s Brutal Treatment of Domestic Workers Janice Tjeng CancerINCYTES August 13, 2015

Susi, a 30 year-old Indonesian domestic worker

Janice Tjeng a écrit:
Susi experienced domestic abuse for a year under the hands of a Hong Kong employer, Law Wan-Tung. She had to work 20 hours per day and Law frequently slapped her to force her to sign a paper indicating that her wages had been paid when in fact, they weren’t. She was also prohibited from contacting her family members and Law even threatened to kill them if she ever talked back or left. Eventually, Susi managed to escape after her family in Indonesia demanded to know about her situation. Susi’s story is merely an example of the extreme physical and mental abuse foreign domestic workers face in Asia and the Middle East.

Another domestic worker, Erwiana Sulistyaningsih, also ended up in the hospital after suffering more than seven months of abuse at the hands of Law. Susi and Erwiana eventually testified against Law, who was found guilty of 18 charges including grievous bodily harm, false imprisonment, and criminal intimidation. Law was jailed for 6 years.

Sumasri, an Indonesian grandmother, suffered painful scars on her back and legs as her employer in Malaysia doused her with hot water. Another victim, Sritak, is covered in dozens of scars as her employer in Taiwan beat her with an iron pipe and pressed a searing hot fork into her skin. Pictures and videos of the abuse can be found here.


This project was organized by the United Nations agency, the International Labor Organization (ILO). The ILO estimates that there are more than 52 million domestic workers worldwide. But in Asia, many of them have no legal protection. Elizabeth Tang, General Secretary of the International Domestic Workers Federation, said that in certain places, domestic workers earn as little as $9 per month. Some don’t even earn any salaries at all and they are treated like slaves. Tang advocates for governments to change the law so that domestic workers are treated equally as any other type of workers.

Janice Tjeng is a fourth year Biology major at the University of San Francisco. She is a Social Media Assistant at Cancer InCytes Magazine. She looks forward to applying to medical school where she can learn the skills to provide healthcare for disadvantaged people.


Wright, Bex  “Threatened, Assaulted, Trapped. Asia’s Treatment of Domestic Workers Laid Bare.” The CNN Freedom Project, July 27 2015. Date accessed, August 5 2015.

Written By CancerINCYTES

Asia’s Brutal Treatment of Domestic Workers was originally published @ cancerincytes and has been syndicated with permission.

Photo by Sean MacEntee

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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Sam 15 Aoû - 23:14

Asian domestic workers sexually abused, beaten and forced to starve by foreign employers The World  By Beverley O'Connor and Shivali Nayak5 Aug 2015
(Video: Photojournalist Steven McCurry speaks about his experiences documenting the plight of domestic workers)

Beverley O'Connor and Shivali Nayak a écrit:
Journalist Karen Emmons went looking for scars when she wanted to document the plight of Asian domestic workers.

She found at least 25 women who told her about the physical and emotional scars they had experienced while trying to make a living abroad.

Emmons worked with photojournalist Steve McCurry, best known for his famous National Geographic cover photo of an Afghan girl, to document the abuse faced by domestic workers from Asia.

She said she was most struck by the women who were called a dog or a pig, or told they were worse than a pig and a dog.

"It was that dehumanising of them that I found most troubling," she said.

Warning: This story contains strong language and graphic images that might be disturbing to some viewers.

McCurry said these women were "often uneducated, naive women who [were] simply trying to make a better life".

"Many of these women are afraid to report the [abuse]. They are worried about their families, the recriminations and that they will be ostracised and outcast if word gets back they've been raped or they haven't received the money," he told The World program.

"In many cases, these problems are kept quiet because these women are uninformed and just scared."

The exhibition, funded by the International Labour Organisation, is currently on display in Hong Kong.

Sritak was accused of stealing by her employer who poured hot water on her body
(Supplied: Steve McCurry)

He took a hot fork that he had heated on the stove top and he put it on my hand.
He pressed the hot fork onto my hand ... It's quite strange, like he had the devil inside.

Sritak worked for a Taiwanese employer who made her work from 6:00am to midnight daily. Her passport was taken away and her freedom to talk to her family or outsiders was restricted.

She was once beaten with an iron pipe after being accused of stealing and her employer poured hot water on her body.

The Indonesian woman has more than 20 scars, including a long slash across her face.

"This kind of sadistic, cruel treatment just should not have to be endured by anybody," McCurry said.

Sumasri's back and thighs were heavily scarred from the boiling water her male employer threw at her
(Supplied: Steve McCurry)

I go to the clinic regularly to get medication. Now it is not painful any more.
It was most painful the first four months.

Sumasri's back and thighs were heavily scarred after her Malaysian employer threw boiling water at her.

The story of exactly what happened to her often changes each time she recounts it.

Neighbours in her east Java village in Indonesia say she is no longer mentally stable.

'Anis' had her finger nearly chopped off by her employer in Hong Kong because the family dog was barking
(Supplied: Steve McCurry)

Five days after Anis (not her real name) arrived at her employer's house in Hong Kong, the family's barking dog woke and enraged her female employer.

Shouting in Cantonese, the woman pulled Anis into the kitchen and grabbed a butcher's knife.

Anis jerked away, but her ring finger tendon was sliced and the bone fractured.

The Indonesian domestic worker escaped with the help of a building security guard and another domestic worker.

Haryatin lost her sight after being hit on the head with a pipe by her employer
(Supplied: Steve McCurry)

Once I had said: "If you don't like me, please send me to the office, please send me home."
She said: "How nice, how lucky you are to go home. If I don't like, I just hit or I kill you."

Haryatin worked for a woman with nine children who continually insulted and hit her and made her sleep in a storage room in Saudi Arabia.

At 3:00am, while Haryatin was washing school uniforms, her employer rubbed the baby's faeces-filled diaper into Harayatin's face because she had not been quick enough to change it.

Soon after, Haryatin, who is from Indonesia, lost her sight after being hit on the head with a pipe.

She was forced to stay, and keep working, until the swelling disappeare

Siti, now 38, from Indonesia, abused in Saudi Arabia, Oman and Hong Kong

Siti was sexually harassed by her employer in Oman
(Supplied: Steve McCurry)

"She said, 'Come here, dog. Come here. You are stupid.
You are a dog. Helper come here'."

Siti left Indonesia to work in Saudi Arabia, clocking 20 hours a day.

She did not get enough to eat and had to sleep on a mattress on the floor of a storage room.

In Oman, when she complained about being sexually harassed by her male employer, his wife slapped and abused her.

In Hong Kong, she had to work at night, was verbally abused and her food was rationed.

Mary Grace was starved and sexually abused in Malaysia
(Supplied: Steve McCurry)

The owner of the agency said to me: "F*** you. You b****.
All your family, your young son will die. You, f*** you. You are a b****.
Your son will die."
Then he threw his coffee mug at my face.

Mary Grace, from the Philippines, worked for two employers, neither of whom gave her enough to eat.

One day she fainted while at a market. She woke up in an ambulance to find herself being sexually abused by the attendant.

When she tried to report the assault at the hospital a nurse told her to be quiet. She left Malaysia with no earnings.

If you are in an abusive situation or know someone who is, call 1800 RESPECT. If it is an emergency, call triple-0. You can also call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or contact the Safe Futures Foundation.

Dernière édition par Admin le Sam 15 Aoû - 23:31, édité 2 fois
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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Sam 15 Aoû - 23:24

Domestic workers march on Hong Kong Labour Department to demand HKD390 monthly pay rise

Lory Jean Yungco By Coconuts Hong Kong August 7, 2015 / 17:10 HKT

Lory Jean Yungco a écrit:
“A HKD4,500 wage hike for foreign domestic workers can no longer be deferred, especially as we asked for this a year ago. But the Hong Kong government refuses to listen to our collective demand.”

This was the statement of Dolores Balladares-Pelaez, spokesperson of the Asian Migrants Coordinating Body (AMCB), which rallied outside Hong Kong’s Labour Department in Wan Chai today along with dozens of foreign domestic workers (FDWs).

The alliance, representing Filipino, Indonesian, Thai, Sri Lankan and Nepali migrant workers in Hong Kong, is making renewed calls for FDWs' wages to be raised to HKD4,500 from the current HKD4,110 under the Minimum Allowable Wage (MAW).

Balladares-Pelaez said that the AMCB is already firming up plans to campaign hard for this wage demand, which was started last year but was only met with a meagre HKD90 increase by the Hong Kong government.

This year's campaign reboot will focus on the rising cost of living in the territory and its growing discrepancy with FDW wages, and will mobilise its entire grassroots member organisations to put pressure on the government.

For her part, Sringatin, also of the AMCB, argued that the original basis for the HKD4,500 hike remains valid this this year, and in fact, “even more so”.

“In asking for the increase last year, we declared that the HKD4,500 would represent only a HKD240 raise over the 15-year period from 1998, when the FDW monthly wage was at HKD3,680. The last HKD90 increase was practically an insult to the sector, as it only amounts to an additional HKD3 per day. Needless to say, this is woefully inadequate,” said Sringatin.

She also pointed out that the HKD964 food allowance, raised from HKD964 last year, is a far cry from the HKD1,600 monthly being asked by the AMCB from the Hong Kong government.

“This breaks down to just HKD32 per day, and it doesn't take a three-digit IQ to figure out that this only buys you one simple meal in HK. It is statistically impossible for any FDW to get decently fed with this amount on a daily basis.”

Balladares-Pelaez also underscored the long-running discrimination of FDWs compared to local workers, which results in lower wages for the former despite having longer working hours.

“FDWs work an average of 16 hours a day as compared to 10 hours for local workers. And yet they only get roughly half the wages of the locals,” she said.

Sringatin believes that Hong Kong is losing its competitiveness in FDW hiring with its reluctance to give them a substantial wage increase.

A spokesman for the Labour Department said, "The HKSAR Government reviews the Minimum Allowable Wage (MAW) rate from time to time and will make announcement as and when appropriate."

Words/Photos: Lory Jean Yungco

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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Lun 31 Aoû - 19:26

Afrique du Sud

Domestic workers urge state to intervene August 28 2015 Theto Mahlakoana  

Johannesburg - Domestic workers have pleaded with the government to send inspectors to their places of work so that they could see – and stop – the exploitation they were being subjected to.

Citation :
The women and men gathered at Constitution Hill in Braamfontein, Joburg, on Thursday to air their grievances.

Despite the sector being governed by sectoral determinations which stipulate how much they should be paid, some said they were being underpaid and were not registered with the Unemployment Insurance Fund (UIF) as required by law.

The gathering was organised by the Gauteng Department of Social Development to discuss issues affecting the workers in what is considered a vulnerable sector.

The minimum wage in major metropolitan areas is R2 065.47 a month. However, some of the domestic workers complained that they earned as little as R1 200.

“It’s not nice,” said domestic worker Cynthia Tshepe. “Women who walk from Freedom Park to Eldorado Park for work pass by the dumping site on their way home every day to rummage for food. Most of the time the food is rotten but the domestic workers are forced to scavenge because they have nothing else.”

She asked Gauteng MEC for Social Development Faith Mazibuko to see for herself the poverty they lived in.

The workers, mostly women in their 40s, said they had no choice but to accept the low salaries their employees paid because if they demanded the minimum wage, there were other people – especially foreigners – who were prepared to work for less.

They stressed that they were not xenophobic but rather that they faced serious challenges because their counterparts from Zimbabwe and Lesotho were willing to settle for far less.

Another domestic worker, who gave her name only as Thandi, said they were being mistreated because employers had nothing to lose.

“I work for three days a week and the money is little. I am also not registered with UIF. When you ask, they say the money is enough for you. If not, you must go,” Thandi said, adding that she and others grappled with the continuously increasing cost of living.

Deputy Minister of Labour Inkosi Phathekile Holomisa encouraged domestic workers to learn to fight for their rights and report employers who were not compliant.

However, given the workers’ requests that the government intervene to improve their situation, it was doubtful they believed they were capable of improving the situation by themselves.

Researcher Xoliswa Dilata said her study into the dynamics of domestic work in Soweto indicated that the most exploited group within the sector was live-in workers. Her thesis’s findings were supported by the domestic workers who gathered at the meeting.

They applauded when she said they found live-in helpers had no knock-off times and were under-compensated.

Holomisa said his department was working on a draft bill to extend the benefits of the compensation for occupational injury and diseases for domestic work.

The introduction of such a law would likely receive support from all quarters of society, leaving compliance as the only stumbling block in its implementation as proved by other such laws.

The Star

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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Lun 31 Aoû - 19:30

Workers, not slaves: domestic labourers against the law Eileen Boris 26 August 2015

The global non-recognition of domestic and care workers in law and social policy intensifies their exploitation. Their international movement exposes the gendered structural and legal violence of global capitalism.

Citation :
“Take us out of slavery!” “I am not a slave.” “Invisible no more.” These were the slogans used by personal attendants and home care aides in the United States during the 1970s to campaign for workers’ rights. Excluded from national wage and hour laws due to the nature of their work, which was seen as identical to women’s household and family labour, these workers, then disproportionately African American, were misclassified by the US Department of Labor as “elder companions” and treated as nothing more than casual teenage babysitters. This remained true even when they were employees of for-profit franchise health care and manpower firms, and their non-recognition as workers made them appear to many as ‘slaves’. The Obama administration’s attempt to rectify this designation has met fierce resistance from employers, who have gone to court to block any change in the exclusion.

Thus, forty years later, the circumstances of care and other domestic workers—wage theft, long hours, sexual harassment, and personal abuse of all sorts—remain hidden in the home, still venerated as a private family space. Isolation magnifies ill treatment, especially for live-in labourers, a group in the US increasingly composed of immigrant women of colour. Tales of passports confiscated, food and sleep denied, imprisonment in residences, and constant monitoring additionally defines what commentators across the political spectrum lament as a new slavery.

The continued exclusion of home care workers from US labour law makes them part of the nearly 30 percent of domestic workers worldwide who toil apart from national labour standards. Most are women, and those who are migrants are often unable to obtain the status of worker because law and policy deny rights to ‘sojourners’ in Canada, Hong Kong, the Arabian Gulf, and elsewhere. But forced labour exists not merely as an anomaly within the market, a residue of earlier modes of production. It is an outgrowth of global capitalism, in which governments enact policies that both facilitate and reinforce precariousness, extending the low wages and temporariness of feminised jobs to the economy as a whole.

A global movement

Even when the law provides rights, as in six US states since 2010, enforcement rarely happens due to the intimacy of the employment relationship and the inadequacy of state agencies. Fear of retaliation and job loss keeps live-in domestic workers from lodging complaints even when aware of the law, while labour and human rights bureaus lack money and personnel to investigate. On the basis of research and consultation with governments, NGOs, employers, and worker organisations, the International Labour Organization (ILO) has called for eradication of the conditions of poverty and inequality that lead to such exploitation, real aid to those victimised, and support of worker organisations. The ILO’s Domestic Workers Convention, (Convention #189) promulgated in 2011 and currently ratified by twenty-two countries (more than half of which are from Latin America), calls upon nations to include migrant workers in their labour codes and provide guarantees against forced labour through written contracts in the language of the worker specifying hours, remuneration, benefits, and means for redress.

The new international domestic worker movement fights the denial of bodily integrity and individual worth as part of its struggle for better working conditions, worker self-determination, and humane care. Organized in late 2013 as the International Domestic Worker Federation (IDWF), the first woman-dominated labour organisation of its kind, the movement gives support to national and regional efforts to improve terms of employment, with a special focus on child and migrant workers. It mobilises campaigns for ratification of the Domestic Workers Convention and aids local groups to establish associations and unions. It has protested the lack of freedom of domestic workers, as in Qatar, and their mistreatment by individual state officials, as in Sri Lanka.

Though it sometimes refers to “modern day slavery,” the IDWF frames household labour as not only work like any other but as a type of employment that is essential to economic life as a whole: housekeepers and careworkers make it possible for all other workers to do their jobs by maintaining the quotidian aspects of life. This sustaining of people, what theorists name reproductive labour and assigned as women’s work in the sexual division of labour, has become the focus of worker struggles.

The US National Domestic Worker Alliance (NDWA) understands the connections between household work and the social good. It promotes a cross-class alliance called “caring across the generations”. Its member associations of nannies, housekeepers, and elder care workers see linkages between their working conditions and criminalised immigrants, a low-wage service economy, declining unions, enhanced racism, and persistent gendered ideologies. Furthermore, they argue, the conflation of domestic employment with unpaid labours of love and obligation performed by wives, mothers, and daughters has been a prime justification for inadequate compensation.

It will take a worldwide effort of progressive forces, led by those seeking redress and self-determination for themselves, to right the upheavals that push people to migrate for dignity and daily bread. Until then, we must heed the main thesis of NDWA 2015 report Beyond survival: organizing to end human trafficking of domestic workers: “forced migration, spurred by economic necessity, social and cultural discrimination and gender-based violence, puts people at risk for trafficking and exploitation”. But governments as well as employers must be made accountable for the lack of social protections and inadequate enforcement of existing rights, for laws that turn migrants into outlaws and make them invisible, and for piecemeal and uncoordinated social services. Labelling unregulated household labour as slavery dramatises what is more accurately a manifestation of the structural violence of global capitalism anchored by gendered inequalities within and between households as well as within and between nations. While it might generate publicity, such naming too often substitutes moral indignation for political action. Better to give material and practical aid to the IDWF, the NDWA, and other local domestic worker associations and unions.

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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Lun 5 Oct - 15:08


Epi2A : les salariées du nettoyage en grève

Citation :
Ce lundi matin, une dizaine de salariées, qui s’occupent du ménage dans les quatre établissements d’hébergement pour personnes âgées dépendantes (EHPAD), gérés par l’Epi2A ont cessé le travail, et se sont retrouvées à l’EHPAD les Parouses à Annecy, pour y installer un piquet de grève. Objectif : réclamer l’annulation de sanctions dont sont victimes trois d’entre elles. Mais aussi faire valoir leurs droits, qu’elles considèrent comme bafoués depuis qu’elles ont changé d’employeur en mars.

« Elles se retrouvent avec deux contrats de travail, leur ancien employeur (Sud-Est restauration) n’ayant pas interrompu leur contrat, et le nouveau (Alpes Savoie nettoyage) ne tenant pas compte de leur ancienneté»,

explique Jean-Baptiste Caillebout, de l’Union locale de la CGT. Un imbroglio qui pèse au quotidien sur leur travail , assurent-elles excédées. En fin de matinée, le directeur de l’Epi2A a appelé la police pour faire sortir les salariées en grève de l’établissement. « On restera devant la porte, mais on restera là » ont-elles promis.

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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Lun 9 Nov - 14:06

Soutien aux grévistes du nettoyage menacés de licenciement

Citation :
Les grévistes de la société de nettoyage OMS, en charge du marché de Paris Habitat, sont en grève depuis le 21 septembre 2015.

Depuis cette date, ils sont confrontés à une direction qui refuse d'ouvrir les négociations, les assignent en justice, demande l'intervention de la police et les menace maintenant de licenciement !

Ils luttent simplement pour l'application du code du travail, l'amélioration de leurs conditions de travail et le respect de leurs droits.

Vous pouvez soutenir les grévistes sur place : RDV à l'inspection du travail 3 bd de l'Oise 95400 Cergy Pontoise (RER Cergy Préfecture) le mardi 10/11/2015 à 10h30 et 14h

Une page internet leurs est consacrée : GREVE DU NETTOYAGE A PARIS HABITAT

Citation :
Le patron a introduit une demande en référé auprès du TGI de Paris pour les déloger de leur piquet (alors même qu’ils ne bloquent rien). Aujourd’hui 4 novembre le TGI de Paris a nommé une médiatrice pour une durée de 3 mois et il a débouté OMS de sa demande d’expulsion des grévistes.

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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Ven 20 Nov - 17:51

Domestic worker from Myanmar rescues sister from decade of slavery By Coconuts Bangkok November 19, 2015

When Aye Than Dar and her little sister Hla Thidar Myint paid a broker in Myanmar's Mon state to smuggle them to Thailand for domestic work, it was the start of a decade-long ordeal that would see the pair separated and Hla held as a slave

Citation :
After paying the broker USD600 (THB21,500) to get them over the border, Aye and Hla were sent to work in separate homes in Ban Pong, in Thailand's Ratchaburi province, west of Bangkok.

"When we arrived in Thailand, an agent came to pick us up. We got jobs in two different places in Ratchaburi, but we didn't know where each of us was sent, so we couldn't contact each other," Aye said.

It was February 2004, and Aye heard nothing from her sister until she found her more than nine years later.

Hla, who is intellectually disabled, had been barred contact with her family and denied a salary.

"She was completely unable to go outside by herself. She could only go with her boss. She never knew what her salary was. When she wanted something, she had to ask her boss," said Aye, now 34, sighing in frustration.

Hla would start work at 4am, mop the floor and clean her employer's stationery shop. After that she cleaned the house.

"He let me go to sleep at 8pm, but I would stay up watching soap operas," Hla, 32, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation in an interview with the sisters at a McDonald's in Bangkok.

Thailand hosts around 3 million migrant workers, 80 percent of them from next door Myanmar. They take jobs in construction, agriculture, the seafood industry and domestic work.

While many migrants work in what campaigners call "3D" jobs that are dirty, dangerous and demeaning, domestic workers can suffer the most abuse because they work behind closed doors, in isolation, hidden from public view.

Many employers, like Hla's, think they are being generous by taking in poor young women and having them do household chores - often not seen as real work - in exchange for room and board. They say they treat their maids "like family".

"I want to vomit when I hear this. It's too often that employers say things like this. Will you treat your sister or your mum like this?" said Elizabeth Tang, the general secretary of the International Domestic Workers Federation.

"This is a huge perception problem: employers like this think they are actually doing charity because this worker came from Myanmar, she didn't speak the language. She was alone, she just arrived. She had no job, so taking her into the house and giving her food and a place to sleep was a big charity.


Aye had no idea what had happened to her sister. Five or six years after they had gone to Thailand, came the first clue: Hla's boss sent pictures of her to the family's home in Myanmar.

"I realized she was alive, still in Ban Pong," said Aye, who is now a domestic worker in Bangkok and a member of Network of Migrant Domestic Workers which supports Myanmar women. "Why didn't she try to reach us? Why couldn't we contact her?"

At the end of 2012, Aye made a push to find her sister, whom she refers to by her Thai nickname, Rak. She had just scraps of information to go by.

"When Rak's photo was sent to us, it included her migrant identification number, along with the name of the broker in Thailand," she explained.

A Ban Pong district officer suggested Aye contact a man who was well connected in the community. He recognised Hla from her photo, and said he had seen her somewhere before.

Six months later he contacted Aye to say he had found her. In June 2013, Aye went to the house and rang the doorbell. Hla's boss asked for proof she was their housemaid's sister, including her passport and visa. Aye also showed them a photograph of Hla as a child. Eventually, he let her in.

"When she came out, I was so happy, I cried," Aye recalled. "But she was emotionless. I asked her, 'Why didn't you go home?' She said she didn't know how to go home. The employer told me to pick her up in a week, but I took her that day."

Gold Necklace

Despite having paid her nothing for nine years, Hla's Thai boss was convinced he had treated her well. Unlike many domestic workers, Hla had suffered no physical abuse.

"He said, 'I've been taking care of your sister as if she were my own daughter or niece. I didn't give her a monthly salary. She's a good person. I've been saving her money for her. She wouldn't have known how to save it. I also bought her some gold.'

"He brought out a gold necklace, and said he would give her THB200,000." He handed over her passport, saying he hoped she would return to continue working for him.

Aye took her home to Myanmar, finding Hla in physically bad shape, and unable to make simple decisions, like choose her clothes.

"When I found her, she had very bad breath, it was hard to even talk to her face to face, and I had to take her to the dentist. She had to have a tooth pulled and some fillings.

"She didn't know how to go home, so I took her all the way there. I stayed only one day because I had to go back to work. She stayed for four months."

There was no work at home. Aye suggested a new job in Thailand, but remarkably, Hla, who had

become accustomed to her life, and didn't see herself as a slave, wanted to go back to her old employer.

"She said that she understood how things worked at her boss's house and wasn't comfortable working in a new place. Her brain couldn't handle it," said Aye.

So Aye took her sister back, giving her a phone, and demanding a monthly salary of THB7,000 and one day off per week.

"We settled on THB6,000. She worked every day," said Aye. "Her employer says that since I got involved with my sister, she has changed. She is no longer obedient and likes to talk back."

On Nov. 3, Aye went to the house again, to take her sister away, this time for good. They will return home in December to see their father who is about to have eye surgery, and their youngest sister who is graduating from university.

At McDonald's, the two sisters, dressed in fitted jeans, pretty blouses and chunky-soled flip flops, seemed to blend in with other women in Bangkok.

Only their accents gave them away as Burmese, and the worn, peeling skin on Hla's fingers hinted at the years of hard work.

"This time, I don't want to go back," Hla said, looking to her sister for reassurance. "My boss doesn't like my sister, so I think I just want to go home and work at home for my parents."

Story: Reuters

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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Ven 27 Nov - 3:36

Singapore: Work permits of domestic workers no longer limited by passport expiry dates November 26, 2015

Citation :
MANILA - Singapore no longer limits the duration of the work permits of household service workers by the expiry dates of their passports, Labor and Employment Secretary Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz announced Thursday.

This will allow domestic workers to “fulfil their employment contracts with minimal disruption,” said Baldoz.

She thus lauded the move of the Ministry of Manpower of Singapore for allowing flexibility in its renewal requirements of work permits of household service workers.

Citing a report from Labor Attache Ramon Tionloc Jr., Baldoz said that Singapore’s MOM has advised the Philippine embassy regarding a new procedure in relation to the renewal of HSW work permits.

“Foreign household service workers in Singapore will now be given the full work permit duration of two years, provided that their passports are valid at the point of issuance or renewal. Singapore will allow this even if the remaining validity of the HSWs passports are shorter than two years,” said Baldoz, citing Tionloc’s report.

The MOM advisory to the Philippine embassy also said that the MOM will remind employers during the renewal of application to have their HSWs’ passports extended for passports expiring within six months.

For its part, the POLO in a report to Baldoz said the Consular section and the POLO will continue to remind HSWs of the need to renew their passports within the six months from its expiration to avoid unnecessary delays in the renewal of work permits and passports.

Baldoz also directed the Labor Communications Office (LCO) to disseminate the information as widely as possible.

An estimated 200,000 Filipinos work and live in Singapore, many as HSWs

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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Ven 27 Nov - 3:40

Filipino domestic workers in Japan may earn PHP66,000 per month By Coconuts Manila November 25, 2015

Citation :
The Japanese government is set to accept more Filipino workers in their country once all the proper mechanisms are in place.

This is part of the agreement that the Japanese government forged with the Philippines during the recently concluded Asia‑Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit.

Among the job openings that may be in abundance are those for domestic helpers. If that happens, it will mark the first time ever that Japan will be taking in Filipino domestic workers.

The domestic workers will be designated as "housekeepers" and are expected to live apart from their employers. They are also expected to learn Nihongo in preparation for going to Japan.

The expected monthly salary is equivalent to PHP66,000, reports GMA News.

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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Ven 27 Nov - 3:43

[b]Domestic workers to get pay rise November[/b] 17 2015 Mphathi Nxumalo

File picture: Phill Magakoe

Citation :
Durban - The minimum wage for domestic workers will be increased next month, but analysts have mixed views on whether the pay rise will impact positively on the lives of workers.

The Department of Labour announced the wage hikes on Monday which include an 8% to 10% increase for domestic workers, depending on the hours and areas in which they work.

Department spokesman Mokgadi Pela said the increases would be effective from December 1, and until the end of November next year.

In terms of the Domestic Sectoral Determination, an employee who works more than 27 hours in Area A should be paid not less than an hourly rate of R11.44, while an employee who works less than 27 hours should be paid not less than an hourly rate of R13.39.

An employee who works more than 27 hours in Area B should be paid a minimum of R10.23 per hour, and an employee who works less than 27 hours should be paid not less than R12.07 per hour.

Pietermaritzburg Agency for Community Social Action researcher, Julie Smith, said the baseline salary was low and the increase was not enough for domestic workers to live a dignified life.

“Domestic workers tend to live in single-income households,” she said.

She said the current cost for a basic monthly food basket was R1 638.36, while a nutritionally balanced food basket cost R2 713.34.

Smith added that other factors to consider were transport and that not all domestic workers were employed the whole month and often worked once or twice a week.

Freemarket Foundation labour economist Loane Sharp questioned the idea of a minimum wage.

“The Department of Labour is naive in thinking that wages can be raised by government edict independent of the level of skill of domestic workers.”

He said although the decision might be politically popular, it would have a devastating impact on the least skilled.

“Over the last decade, the number of domestic workers has fallen from 2.1 million to 1.3 million. Even those figures don’t tell the full story,” Sharp said.

He said a decade ago the majority of domestic workers worked full-time.

“Today more than 60% of domestic workers work on a part-time basis with no food or lodgings provided by employers,” Sharp said.

He said the government also failed to realise that the work done by domestic workers was broader than just cleaning.

“They often have to do budgeting, child minding and supervise homework,” he said.

Organiser for the South African Domestic Service and Allied Workers’ Union, Gloria Kente, said she could not comment because the union would only review the wages at the beginning of December.

Areas define salaries paid

* Area A is defined as falling within the following municipalities: Bergrivier, Breederivier, Buffalo City, Cape Agulhas, Cederberg, City of Cape Town, City of Johannesburg, City of Tshwane, Drakenstein, Ekurhuleni Metro, Emalahleni, Emfuleni, eThekwini Metro, Gamagara, George, Hibiscus Coast, Karoo Hoogland, Kgatelopele, Khara Hais, Knysna, Kungwini, Kouga, Langeberg, Lesedi, Makana, Mangaung Metro, Matzikama, Metsimaholo, Middelburg, Midvaal, Mngeni, Mogale City, Mossel Bay, Msunduzi, Mtubatuba, Nama Khoi, Nelson Mandela, Nokeng tsa Taemane, Oudtshoorn, Overstrand, Plettenbergbaai, Potchefstroom (Tlokwe), Randfontein, Richtersveld, Saldanha Bay, Sol Plaatjie, Stellenbosch, Swartland, Swellendam, Theewaterskloof, Umdoni, uMhlathuze and Witzenberg.

* Area B includes all areas not mentioned under Area A.

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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Ven 27 Nov - 3:51

The Indian Sub-Continent’s Domestic Workers Deserve Much More Than This 20 November 2015

Citation :
Child domestic workers are common in India, with the children often being sent by their parents to earn extra money, although it is banned by the government. Image by Biswarup Gangly via Wikimedia Commons. BY-SA 3.0
Child domestic workers are common in India, with the children often being sent by their parents to earn extra money, although it is banned by the government. Image by Biswarup Gangly via Wikimedia Commons. BY-SA 3.0

The Indian sub-continent has a long tradition of households employing house boys or maids. In India alone, there are nearly 5 million unskilled people working in the homes of others — most of them women and some underage.

They are usually not entitled to paid holidays, overtime, pensions or other perks like other industrial workers. They have no recognition as a labor force, are paid miserably and are sometimes subjected to domestic abuse. A typical housemaid in India may earn around 6,000 rupees ($90) per month for 10- to 14-hour daily shifts.

Skand Shukla writes in Indian newspaper The Hindu that in most cases the terms and conditions of employment are settled by word of mouth:

Citation :
The wages, of course, depend on the number of persons in the family, the guests visiting them, the kids in the family, the number of rooms… The remuneration includes, besides the cash, the ‘tyohaari’ [Bakhsish or tips] during [holidays such as] Holi, Deepavali and other occasions.

In some houses, the caste of the employee matters, and those of a lower caste are not treated equally — for example, they are not allowed to sit on the same chairs that family-members use.

Close, yet distant

Jannatul Mawa, a Bangladeshi social activist and documentary photographer, showed this inequality through photography. In her project “Close Distance” she photographed housemaids sitting together with their employer, the disparity between them vivid.

Close Distance. The inequality between the housemaid
and the employer. Photography by Jannatul Mawa

Mawa writes:

In the
Citation :
society, it is perceived that only women will perform the domestic work which also includes the middle class working women. This household activity is analogous for them although the ‘class’ creates a distance. Every day, maidservants take care of the bed and sofa with their hand but they are neither allowed to sit nor to sleep on them once. With their domestic roles, they are ‘close’ to the middle class women and ‘distant’ at the same time.

In India, rights groups and the government are working hard to establish the rights of domestic workers and are pushing agendas to include their service in labour laws. In recent times, it's been up to non-profits like Maid in India and for-profit online job sites or mobile apps to act as intermediaries that ensure the workers receive proper compensation. Concerns abound that a portion of the small salaries that maids receive are deducted by these agencies or intermediaries as service fees which are unregulated.

However, what also needs to change are the attitudes of the households that employ these domestic workers, who due to their poverty, are compelled to accept unequal terms of employment, whether its the job, time or compensation.

‘It doesn't take much to make a big difference in someone's life!’

No wonder spiritual teacher, writer and educator Nithya Shanti‘s Facebook post during this Diwali went viral.

Shanti shared a moment he titled “Why my mother decided to call our maid's family for dinner”. He explained:

Citation :
Inspired by her friends, my mother started a new tradition in our home last night. She invited the family of our maid Madina to come home for dinner. She had earlier sent dad and me off to buy all the groceries and special food was prepared for them. We all ate together and had a lovely conversation as well.

This is the first time we have ever done anything like this in our family. It felt surreal to see Madina's whole family sitting on our couch and eating with us on our dining table. This was especially significant for me as I remember having bitter arguments with my mother as a kid about why our staff couldn't use the same utensils and furniture as us! It would always end in her crying and then I had to back down. So you can imagine how amazing it was for me to see my mom organise this Diwali dinner on her own initiative. […]

It looks like this is the beginning of a beautiful new tradition in our family, which I hope we will only enhance as time goes on. It touched and opened my heart in many ways. I've asked their son to send me specs of the computer he needs and I'm going to see how we can arrange that for him. It doesn't take much to make a big difference in someone's life!

The post was shared by many online media as well, such as Huffington Post and The Logical Indian and has generated much debate online.

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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Sam 9 Juil - 8:36

Marseille : payées des poussières pour faire briller des étoiles

Myriam Guillaume La Marseillaise 1 juillet 2016

Conditions de travail au rabais et salaires au ras des pâquerettes,
les femmes de chambre bataillent dur pour gagner en dignité.

Photo M.G. (c) Copyright  La Marseillaise

Myriam Guillaume a écrit:
Nouvelle grève des femmes de chambre exploitées par le prestataire de service Propeo.Elles organisaient hier un pique-nique revendicatif devant l’hôtel B&B de la Joliette à Marseille.

« Grève des femmes de chambre sous-traitées, mal payées », annonce une banderole tendue sur le trottoir devant la chaîne hôtelière de la Joliette qui fait le plein ce jour de match d’Euro, à tarif surgonflé. Une table de pique-nique est dressée devant l’accueil du B&B, où sont disposés les éléments d’une kémia, à laquelle les femmes de chambre de l’hôtel Golden Tulip Villa Massalia ont abondé, en soutien à leurs collègues. Elles aussi, employées par le sous-traitant STN, se sont rebellées en mars et elles ont gagné au terme d’un combat de 14 jours, en dignité. « La lutte paie ! », pouvait souffler le syndicat CNT.

Mais si tout un secteur est touché, c’est site par site qu’il faut batailler pour le respect des droits sociaux. Ainsi hier, 8 femmes de chambre parmi la vingtaine de salariées que compte Propeo relançaient la grève après un premier mouvement entamé le 10 juin. Stoppé dix jours plus tard sans obtenir un seul des points soulevés, et faute de pouvoir tenir sans salaire plus longtemps. Mais depuis mardi, elles ont repris le bâton de la lutte, soutenues par le CNT cette fois-ci et de manière plus informelle par des militants de SUD Solidaires, du Parti de gauche, d’Alternative libertaire ou de Nuit debout... et de quelques passants.

Fouzia est arrivée avec la reprise du marché par Propeo en janvier 2016 mais elle travaille depuis des années dans le ménage en hôtellerie et passe de délégataire en délégataire selon la loi du marché, au gré des appels d’offres. Elle en tire un bilan déprimant : « J’ai fait des trois étoiles, des quatre étoiles mais peu importe le niveau, pour les conditions de travail comme pour la rémunération, c’est tous pourris. On reste des larbins, corvéables à volonté. » Propeo ne fonctionne qu’avec le privé et pas sur appels d’offres. Mais « on n’en tire aucun avantage et là on atteint le pire car on nous a annualisé nos contrats du coup les heures supplémentaires passent à l’as », estime cette employée qui fait « 169 heures payées 149 ».

Des « petits » métiers kleenex

Appelée pour un remplacement sur le poste de gouvernante, elle y aura encore perdu un peu plus. « Une femme de chambre est payée 9,94 euros de l’heure, moi en tant que gouvernante je suis à 12,87 euros », explique Marie-Neige, gouvernante qui déplore elle-même « je suis censée faire 7h par jour, en réalité je cumule jusqu’à 200 heures par mois ». Avec des horaires difficilement compatibles avec une vie de mère, les conditions de rémunération laissent l’ascenseur social en panne. Pour Nassabia, qui vit avec ses trois enfants dans un T3 à 880 euros de loyer, même avec un conjoint qui travaille, « payée près de 660 euros, j’ai dû prendre un autre contrat en plus de celui que j’ai avec Propeo ». Du coup, elle enchaîne un service de 5h30 à 9h avec celui de 9h30 à « 13 heures ou 17 heures, selon le boulot qu’il y a ». Six jours sur sept. Le premier jour de leur grève, « une annonce paraissait à Pôle emploi pour Propeo affichant 1 000 euros pour 26 heures », note Camille El Mahmdi du CNT. « En réalité c’est 80 heures payées 600 euros », rectifie Marie-Neige. Lundi dernier, les grévistes sont revenues sur le lieu de travail. « Nos heures et nos sites d’intervention avaient été changés pour mieux nous diviser. » Elles ont vu rouge et n’entendent plus lâcher le piquet sans amélioration consentie : diminution des cadences, paiement à l’heure, deux jours de repos consécutifs ou 13e mois... pas de faveurs mais la simple légalité.

De « petits » ces métiers n’ont que le nom. Il est grand temps de leur redonner une humanité, qui s’est effritée devant l’impératif de productivité. « On fait grève, pourtant on est déjà toutes dans le besoin, car on ne peut plus accepter l’inacceptable », ne décolère pas Fouzia. Une caisse de solidarité est ouverte.

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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Sam 9 Juil - 12:02

A Madrid, les femmes de ménage disent « basta » à la précarité

Sandrine Morel (Madrid, correspondance)  LE MONDE ECONOMIE 09.07.2016

A Madrid, en 2011. © Paul Hanna / Reuters / REUTERS

Citation :
C’est la face cachée du tourisme en Espagne. L’envers du « Sol et playa ». Contrats précaires, heures supplémentaires non payées, baisse des salaires, dégradation des conditions de travail, les femmes de chambre des hôtels ont décidé de dire « basta ». Depuis quelques mois, « Las Kellys » comme elles se font appeler (pour « Las que limpian », celles qui nettoient) multiplient les rassemblements aux portes d’établissements hôteliers pour dénoncer « l’exploitation » dont elles se disent victimes.

Tout a commencé en 2014 par des témoignages sur Internet. Sous couvert d’anonymat, plusieurs femmes de chambre dénoncent les contrats abusifs qu’elles acceptent pour ne pas pointer au chômage, dans un pays où 21 % des actifs sont sans emploi. Peu à peu elles se regroupent, parfois masquées pour ne pas risquer d’être licenciées. Aujourd’hui, leur association compte plus de 500 membres.

Une première victoire

Déçues des syndicats « qui ne les défendent pas assez », les Kellys sont passées à l’action : elles suspendent aux fenêtres des chambres qu’elles nettoient des banderoles pour faire prendre conscience aux touristes de leur situation ou organisent des piquets de grève. En juin, elles ont remporté l’une de leur première bataille judiciaire à Lanzarote, dans les îles Canaries, contre l’entreprise Alterna BPO, à laquelle un hôtel de la chaîne Barcelo avait externalisé les services de nettoyage. Rémunérées beaucoup moins que ce que fixe la convention collective du secteur hôtelier, puisque l’entreprise de nettoyage se définissait comme une entreprise de service, elles ont obtenu réparation.

« Notre travail a toujours été dur, précaire et mal payé, mais depuis la crise et la réforme du travail, je n’avais jamais vu, en vingt et un ans de profession, un tel niveau d’exploitation, affirme Isabel Rodriguez, fondatrice du groupe des Kellys de Barcelone. Les nouvelles femmes de chambre ont perdu tous les droits que nous avions conquis au fil des années : congés payés, libération de certains week-ends, plannings en avance… Aujourd’hui, elles sont souvent à la libre disposition des chefs d’établissement. »

En cause, l’externalisation de plus en plus fréquente des services de nettoyage des hôtels à des entreprises de services qui cassent les prix. « Avec la réforme du travail, les grands hôtels ont licencié à bas coût leur personnel de nettoyage ou de blanchisserie et fait jouer la concurrence d’entreprises externes pour réduire les coûts au détriment du respect des conventions collectives et des droits des travailleurs », résume l’avocat Alex Tisminetsky, du collectif Ronda. Spécialiste en droit du travail, il conseille les Kellys et se bat pour obtenir la reconnaissance de leurs maladies professionnelles (lumbago, sciatiques, etc.) par la sécurité sociale.

« La dernière mode est de nous payer par chambre, pour 1,80 euro. On sait à quelle heure on commence mais pas à quelle heure on finit, ajoute encore Isabel Rodriguez. Pendant ce temps, les chaînes hôtelières font des millions de bénéfices. Mais nous ne sommes pas au tiers-monde ! »

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Date d'inscription : 29/04/2015
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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    Dim 4 Sep - 20:24

"On boit ce lait de pauvre dans ta favela ?"
Mes années d'employée domestique au Brésil

L'Obs 27-08-2016 Par Preta Rara Ancienne employée domestique

Joyce est rappeuse sous le nom de scène de Preta Rara ("Nègre Rare") et professeure d'histoire brésilienne. Mais avant cela, elle était employée domestique ("empregada domestica") dans des familles brésiliennes. Elle a commencé à raconter les abus de cette forme d'esclavage moderne sur Facebook. Des milliers d'autres femmes l'ont suivie. Témoignage.

Preta Rara à une manifestation pour la culture afro-brésilienne à Diadema (São Paulo)
Nenê Surreal

Citation :
"Joyce, vous avez été embauchée pour cuisiner pour la famille, pas pour vous. S’il vous plaît, ramenez votre propre marmite et une paire de couverts, et, si possible, mangez avant nous sur la table de la cuisine. Vous n’y êtes pour rien ma fille, mais il faut maintenir le bon ordre de la maison."

J’ai été employée domestique (empregada) pendant 7 ans, et même si cette époque est aujourd’hui révolue, je pense encore souvent aux mots de cette femme qui fut ma patronne – la dernière. Elle m’avait embauchée comme cuisinière, mais je ne pouvais pas utiliser les mêmes ustensiles que le reste de la famille pour me faire à manger, comme si je souffrais d’une maladie grave et contagieuse.

Le 19 juillet dernier, seule chez moi, j’ai eu envie de partager cette mésaventure sur mon mur Facebook. Je ne m’attendais pas à l’ampleur que ce petit récit prendrait.

Nos patronnes disent qu'on est de la famille...

Immédiatement, plus de 500 personnes m’ont demandée en amie. Je me suis donc décidée à créer une page Facebook où je pourrais continuer à raconter mes anecdotes d’empregada, mais aussi inciter celles qui l’avaient été ou le sont toujours à raconter leur quotidien.

Qui sait, peut-être pourrions-nous ensemble changer la situation de ces femmes, dont les patronnes disent qu’elles font partie de la famille, mais qui ne sont jamais traitée comme leurs chers et tendres ?

C’est devenu viral. Les empregadas ont commencé à raconter ce qu’il se passait entre les quatre murs de la maison de leurs patrons, en utilisant le hashtag #euempregadadomestica ("moi, employée domestique"). Je me doutais que certaines personnes s’identifieraient à mes histoires, mais pas à ce point. Un mois après sa création, la page compte 120.000 abonnés.

Preta Rara lors d'une rassemblement politique à São Paulo. Sérgio Koei

24 heures sur 24 à laver les saletés

Ici, au Brésil, la question des travailleurs domestiques reste encore très liée à la celle de l’esclavage. Un esclavage qui n’a pas vraiment eu de fin, en fait. Le traitement que subissaient les domestiques aux 17e, 18e et 19e siècles s’apparente à celui des employées de maison aujourd’hui.

Les familles de riches ont des empregadas à la maison, 24 heures sur 24. Ils n’en ont pas vraiment besoin, non, mais c’est une question de statut social. Pour faire bien. Ça montre qu’ils ont de l’argent, en tous cas assez pour payer quelqu’un à laver toute leurs saletés.

Encore aujourd’hui, la plupart des patrons pensent que les employées domestiques sont leur propriété privée. Ils ont du mal à envisager ce travail comme une prestation de service. Ils doivent pourtant le considérer en tant que tel, et leur offrir des salaires équitables.

"On ne boit pas de ça ici. Tu peux le ramener chez toi"

Plusieurs cas d’humiliation persistent. Je me souviens de cette fois où j’avais fait des courses pour la famille dans laquelle je travaillais. J’avais acheté du lait bon marché, de la marque que je consomme dans ma famille. Mon patron s’est mis en colère : "Peut-être que dans ta favela tu achètes ce lait de pauvre, mais on ne boit pas de ça ici. Tu peux le ramener chez toi."

Hors de moi, je lui ai répondu : "S’il n’est pas bon pour vous, il ne l’est pas pour moi non plus." J’ai pris mes affaires et je suis partie, sans même réclamer mon salaire.

Récemment, le fils d'une femme de 76 ans a raconté sur ma page Facebook l'histoire de sa mère. Celle-ci est empregada depuis plus de 30 ans dans le même foyer. L'ascenseur de service – réservé aux employés – était en panne, mais on ne l'a pas laissé monté dans l'ascenseur principal, celui des résidents. Elle a été contrainte de grimper huit étages. Les empregadas, ça ne prend pas les ascenseur des patrons. Ce sont des choses qui arrivent encore, en 2016, au Brésil.

6 millions d'employés domestiques

Après mes années en tant qu’empregada, j’ai repris mes études. Cela fait 5 ans que je suis professeure d’histoire. En parallèle, je suis chanteuse de rap. Mon nom de scène, c'est Preta Rara, "Négresse rare".

Aujourd’hui, il y a toujours 6 millions d’employés domestiques au Brésil, dont la quasi-totalité sont des femmes. J’espère qu’elles continueront à s’exprimer sur le Facebook de "Moi, employée domestique".

C’est d’ailleurs pour ça que j’ai nommé la page ainsi. Pour qu’elles parlent en leur nom, sans qu’on le fasse à leur place.

Propos recueillis et traduits du portugais par Julia Mourri.

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MessageSujet: Re: DOMESTIQUES (travailleuses et travailleurs) / DOMESTICS WORKERS / Servants    

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