‘Domestic workers let down’

Government let down domestic workers by not ratifying the International Labour Organisation's (ILO) Convention 189, a trade union said on Wednesday.

“This convention, signed in June 2011, recognises that domestic work is decent work,” the SA Domestic Service and Allied Workers' Union said in a statement.

A domestic worker. Credit: Independent Newspapers

“December 2012 finds us at 18 months down the line and only five countries having ratified and recognised their responsibility toward their domestic workers.”

Convention 189 advocates standardised working conditions for domestic workers, such as minimum wages, rest hours, and leave.

Government's failure to ratify the convention disappointed domestic workers across the country, even though South Africa's representative was very vocal during ILO deliberations, the union said.

“This government clearly does not care for its domestic workers.”

The union said it would hold a demonstration at the opening of Parliament next year and called on trade unions, civil society, and domestic workers to show their disappointment with the government.

Comment from the department of labour could not immediately be obtained. - Sapa