A massive “Domestic Workers’ Demands Conference” was held in Chennai at Balamandir German Hall, TNagar, on October 3, 2012. More than one thousand members of the Penn Thozhilalargal Sangam, affiliated to the non-party trade union federation NTUI, participated in the one day conference. Domestic worker representatives from 75 branches of PTS were present, notably, TNagar, Choolaimedu, Shenoy Nagar, Anna Nagar, Kilpauk,(all Central Chennai), Mogaippair, Maduravoyal, and Ambattur(North Chennai), and from South Chennai Perungudi, Velachery, St Thomas Mount.
The following resolutions were passed unanimously:
- The TN Government should take immediate steps to notify wages for domestic workers at an hourly rate of Rs. 40 under the Minimum Wage Act; and implement the recommendations of the Advisory Committee pending since 2009.
- Given that domestic workers provide services to middle and upper class families, and their work requires living in proximity to a high priced neighbourhood that they can ill-afford, their life and livelihood is fraught by precarious conditions. Therefore, the PTS demands that government give house pattas, stop eviction of slums and include housing needs of domestic service providers in urban planning. It also demands improvement in urban infrastructure in existing slum colonies, ensure access to clean drinking water and sanitation; and to create safety for children of domestic workers, particularly girls, local government needs to focus on improved day care and creating sports facility for girls.
- Outpatient timing at government hospitals must be extended to enable domestic workers to access public hospitals and dispensaries without loss of wages and employment. Also, upgrading primary health facilities at Corporation Dispensaries and Hospitals to reduce dependence private medical practitioners.
- Free/concessional bus passes be provided to domestic workers, as the cost of buses is prohibitive and unaffordable at their existing wage level.
Download the full report of the conference PTS Domestic Workers’ Demands Conference Oct 3, 2012.