NGO advocates trade unionism for domestic workers

NGO advocates trade unionism for domestic workers,%20I’
From Our Correspondent

A Non-governmental Organisation, CEE-HOPE Nigeria, has advocated that domestic workers should join mainstream trade unions to enhance better bargaining power.

Betty Abah, the founder of CEE-HOPE Nigeria, made the call at a one-day seminar on the Rights of Domestic Workers/their Labour Rights, at the weekend, in Abuja.

TheNewsZenth reports that the campaign focuses on upholding domestic workers’ human and labour rights.

It is in line with the provisions of the International Labour Organisation Convention 189 of 2011. The convention deals with the rights of domestic workers.

Abah lamented that the working conditions of domestic workers in Nigeria were pathetic.

She added that scores of domestic workers have died while others were maimed for life in the discharge of their duties.

“We are spotlighting the issue and working at ensuring unionisation of domestic workers in Nigeria.

“This is not new in Uganda, Kenya, South Africa, UAE and especially India.

“These countries have vibrant domestic workers unions.

“Once domestic workers know their rights, subjecting them to over-work will reduce.

“In Nigeria, many domestic workers are overworked. They work round the clock.

“There is hardly any resting time for them and they are paid merger wages,’’ the Executive Director said.

She, therefore, urged organised labour to be part of the campaign for domestic workers to join the mainstream labour movement.

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Mr Claus Konig, Regional Director for Rosa Luxemburg Foundation in West Africa, a German organisation working with trade unions and civil societies, said every worker had the right to belong to a trade union.

He added that a large number of the working population in Nigeria are domestic workers.

Employers often violate the workers. That is why it is important to unionise them so that the union can defend their rights.

“We know from studies and reports, that violence against domestic workers is prevalent in many societies.

“It starts with disrespect and progresses to violence,” Konig said.

He called on the government to make laws that ensure that domestic workers have a minimum wage.

“Already there are laws against violence because it doesn’t anybody to kill for any reason.”

He appealed to the Police and other relevant authorities to follow up on cases of violence against domestic workers and prosecute offenders

Mrs Hawa Mustapha, a staff of the Nigeria Labour Congress, commended the NGO for initiating the seminar.

She pledged the organised labour’s support towards the advocacy.

Mustapha also urged domestic workers to change their public perception of themselves and place a value on their dignity.,%20I’

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