Trade union for domestic workers

To unite domestic workers across the country and help them get better access to rights and security, a new National-Level Trade Union of Domestic Workers (NTU-DW) will be launched on Monday.

The organisation is the initiative of the Karnataka Gruha Karmikara Sangha (KGKS). Ruth Manorama, President, National Alliance of Women (NAWO) and advisor to the Sangha, said that the Union will be affiliated to the National Centre for Labour and will give workers a platform to raise issues related to their work.

“The Union will primarily work for the implementation of the National Policy for domestic workers in India. Through it, we will approach the government authorities with regard to regulation of employment, social security, among others,” she said, speaking on the sidelines of the National Consultation on ‘Decent Work for Domestic Workers,’ here on Sunday. According to Dr Pravin Sinha, senior advisor at Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, a German-based NGO, the government has been struggling to formulate a national policy for domestic workers since 2009, even though the number of domestic workers in India is increasing.

The National Alliance of Women estimates that there are four lakh domestic workers in the State at present. “This figure is just an estimate as the government does not have any statistics on the number of domestic workers in the State,” Manorama said.
Deputy Labour Commissioner, G Manjunath, who is involved in the programme, said, “If not the formulation of a national policy for domestic workers, there should at least be a code of practice in all the states.”

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