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Manifesto of the Barcelona Municipal Immigration Council for the Dignification of Homework and Care
In 2011, the International Labor Organization (ILO) adopted Convention 189 on decent work for domestic workers, which entered into force in 2013. For the first time, governments, employers and workers agreed on international minimum conditions aimed at improving the working lives and rights of domestic workers, putting on the table the need to equalize their rights with those of other working people. The agreement, signed at the 100th ILO Conference in Geneva, recognized the “undervalued, exploited and invisible” domestic work carried out mainly by “women and girls”. Many of them are migrants or migrants, are at a disadvantage and "particularly exposed to discrimination in terms of employment and employment conditions, as well as other human rights abuses."
The agreement is a binding international treaty for member states to ratify, something that the Spanish state has not yet done. In 2011 some reforms were made in Spain: the scope of domestic work was recognized as a fully labor area. Despite this, domestic work continues as a special system within the General Social Security Scheme, and very negative aspects remain: the possibility of ending the employment relationship without due justification, the exclusion of prevention. occupational risks, the Wage Guarantee Fund and, in particular, the exclusion of unemployment benefits and other coverages, such as maternity benefits.
In recent years, various factors related to the role of women, the crisis or the lack of resources for the Dependency Act, have forced families to look for alternatives that address their care needs in a short time and at low cost. These jobs have been mostly occupied by immigrant women, many of them trapped in an irregular situation, and often working in the informal economy. Women who do not fully enjoy their human and labor rights. Women who are required to do household chores, but also offer care and affection to the elderly or children, with flexible hours and in very precarious working conditions. They make possible, in large part, the low public spending on the provision of social services.
While home and care workers are currently supporting a substantial part of the pillars of our welfare society, the invisibility and deregulation of their work, their vulnerability and lack of recognition, set the tone in political and social discourse. Our society has a hard time understanding that this is a job like any other.
Domestic workers have the ability to organize, create their own support networks, and carry out the struggle for resistance in the face of totally insufficient industry regulations to protect their rights, despite the obstacles they encounter, such as false stereotypes about this collective within an unjust partner system. However, it is also true that many of them are unaware of their labor rights, have little time to find out and find themselves alone or with a poor support network.
Faced with these facts, the Barcelona Municipal Immigration Council has taken on Dignification and awareness-raising in the field of domestic work and the care of people as a priority work theme in 2017.
That is why the entities of the Barcelona Municipal Immigration Council demand:
1) The immediate ratification, by the Spanish State, of ILO Convention 189, which obliges the equalization of the labor rights of domestic workers to those of other workers in the General Scheme of Social Security.
2) The elimination of the Special System within the Social Security for domestic workers and its immediate incorporation into the General Social Security Scheme, in order to have equal rights with all working people.
3) The equalization of the right to Social Security coverage for workers in the sector, on equal terms with other workers in the General Scheme. Special mention should be made of the right to unemployment benefits, which do not exist for this group.
4) That maternity coverage is operational, under the same conditions as in the General Scheme.
5) The operating right to receive benefits for temporary incapacity for work on equal terms with other General Workers.
6) The introduction of corrective measures in Social Security contributions to guarantee the right to a dignified retirement.
7) That the termination of the contract by free withdrawal - which is equivalent to a free dismissal - by the contracting person be eliminated, and that the protection of the fundamental rights of people working in this field be guaranteed, especially the right to effective judicial protection (art. 24.2 of the Spanish Constitution). In this way, the exercise of legal claims by the group is protected when a dismissal occurs that can be declared null, ie invalid.
8) That the obligation that all the contracts be in writing be fulfilled, to guarantee the labor rights of all the working people of the home and especially to avoid the irregularity happened, adopting measures that facilitate the support to the families and the administrative control of this obligation.
9) That the Labor Inspectorate, or other administrative bodies, carry out greater monitoring of compliance with regulations, especially by employment agencies and private entities, such as parishes or associations, where intermediaries are made for household chores and care.
10) Encourage the hiring of domestic and care workers, recovering and improving assistance to families, and promoting tax deduction policies, as had been done until July 2017 (20% bonus of the Social Security contribution).
11) That measures be taken to prevent, report and sanction gender-based violence in domestic work, with an emphasis on sexual abuse, investigating and paying special attention to the incidence of human trafficking and labor exploitation.
12) To promote the creation of a specialized service that offers comprehensive care to domestic workers, and that incorporates the possibility of reporting all types of abuse, through easy and available resources (Red Telephone).
13) The flexibility of the requirements and procedures provided for in the Aliens Act for obtaining and renewing residence and work permits.
14) That the regulations regarding the regulation of the work of “internal” people, in terms of hours, salaries and other rights, be complied with, taking into account that they offer “presence” and “overnight stay”, 24 hours a day. And that their role in providing care and attention to many dependent people be recognized.
15) That training courses be organized on occupational hazards, including the use of chemicals, as well as other training to improve the preparation for their work and the qualification for professional promotion, adapting them to the working hours of the sector.
16) That a diagnosis be made of the situation of the sector and of the working conditions of the people working in the home and care.
17) That arrangements be made in relation to primary health care and emergencies so that the common or professional origin of the ailments suffered by domestic workers, cleaning and care is correctly qualified.
18) That it be recognized that domestic work is part of the economics of care and that departments be created in the Generalitat and the City Council on the economics of care.
19) The incorporation of the intercultural and gender perspective in recruitment policies, in order to eliminate rumors, discrimination, segregation and prejudice by origin, ethnicity, age or gender.
20) To promote actions aimed at enhancing the work of the home and care, to "make visible" their situation and to "empower" working people, raising awareness in society in general and in each sector involved, for better social recognition and dignification of household work, and for the effective implementation of all proposals contained in the document prepared by the Council (CMIB).
Barcelona, 22 October 2017 - BCN DIVERSITY CITY MEETING
You can download the pdf version of the manifesto here .
Area of Citizenship Rights, Participation and Transparency
Directorate of Citizenship and Diversity Rights Services
Barcelona Municipal Immigration Council
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