housemaids, "plethoric" before the progress in rights

The Congress of Deputies has set its sights this week on two of the most vulnerable sectors of society, carried out above all by women. On Tuesday, the lower house admitted for processing a legal initiative aimed at abolishing prostitution and this Thursday, except for last-minute surprises, will ratify convention 189 of the International Organization of Worked (ILO)which promotes equal treatment between domestic workers and workers in general.

Since the formulation of the Convention in 2011, the Feminist movementthe unions and organizations of domestic workers have been fighting for Spain to join the list of 35 countries that have already ratified it, but they have not succeeded so far, despite the fact that it was a PSOE commitment since its first solo government. Spain has been dragging its feet until a recent ruling by the EU Court of Justice considered that the Spanish law, which excludes domestic workers from unemployment benefits, violates the European directive.

The struggle has been so long that the organizations of domestic workers are “plethoric“before the ratification of the agreement, according to Amalia Caballero, spokesperson for the Domestic Territory. But they are aware that it is only a gesture, of “start of the road“, because it has yet to materialize in a change in regulations that reflects the spirit of the international treaty. “We are concerned that still take a year or two to materialize and the times of women’s lives, the violations, are day after day,” warns Ramona Fernández, president of Sindihogar.

The changes

Faced with the need to change national legislation, the feminist movement and domestic workers’ organizations have launched 11 essential demands that could completely change life of the caretakers and cleaners. As a fundamental measure, they demand their full incorporation into the general social security system. They also claim to have right to unemploymenteliminate the figure of withdrawal, which allows the free dismissal and unjustified and that their pensions be equal to those of other workers.

At the same time, they call for increased labor inspections to ensure that domestic workers, especially interns, they are not slaves at the service of a familybut that they take the breaks and vacations that correspond to them.

600,000 female employees

The legal change would affect some 400,000 people, mostly women, who contribute to the special system for domestic workers. But there are other 200,000 thataccording to the Active Population Survey (EPA), not even they have a contract. “It is time for undeclared employment to emerge and for them to have decent working conditions,” they demand from the CCOO.

Ramona and Amalia give a good account of the existing violations. Ramona works in Barcelona and, like many others, started when did not have a residence permit. But even today, since he already has “papers”, he is still in the underground economy. “In many houses I work without a contract, I get paid by the hour And if I don’t go because I’m sick, they don’t pay me or my vacations,” she explains.

And Amalia worked as an intern in a house, where she took care of a girl whose mother traveled a lot and although she had to start her rest of 36 hours in a row on Saturday, the mother did not come many times until at night and did not allow her to get off work. Sunday “until I finished cleaning the house. “My permit stayed in an hour“, the Mint.

Yolanda Diaz met on Tuesday with the sector and conveyed the changes that the Ministry of Labor is preparing and that they will allow “access to unemployment benefits or protection against dismissal.” His department indicates that the legal modification will be known “briefly”.