In a brief period many favorable changes for the domestic workers took place in Uruguay. They began between 2006 and 2007 with the approval of law 18,065 that regulates the domestic work in the country, following in 2008 with the integration of the domestic workers to the Remuneration Councils.
For the first time in history this sector could negotiate collectively conditions of work, obtaining on 19 August 2008 the signature of the first Collective Agreement. The date was declared nonworkable and paid holiday for the domestic workers of Uruguay.
The past 25 April the Parliament ratified Convention 189 of the ILO on Decent Work for the Domestic Workers, adopted by the 100th ILO Conference. The text established for the first time in history international labor standards destined to improve the work conditions of tens of millions of domestic workers in the world.
Among the new rights that recognize Convention 189 is the work day duration, the weekly rest of at least 24 consecutive hours, the limit for payments in kind, clear information on the terms and conditions of employment, as well as the respect of the principles and fundamental rights in the work, including the freedom of association and the collective negotiation.
In dialog with Sirel, Graciela Espinosa of the SUTD, who participated with Uruguay's representation in the 100th ILO Conference in 2011, she commented that the ratification process was very agile and was approved unanimously.
Consulted about the Union's paper in this instance, the leader declared: “We were always accompanying all the steps since the ratification proposal in December 2011 was entered, giving to permanent pursuit in the Parliament until the day of the plenary discussion and later approval at which we were present”.
Concerning the advances that were obtained for the sector, Espinosa indicated that all coincides with the ascent of the Frente Amplio (Broad Front) into government, who favored the positive changes in terms of labor legislation and guarantees. “Since 1985 the law that regulates the domestic work (18.065) was kept in a drawer, until the first administration of the Frente Amplio accredited it between 2006 and 2007”.
For the leader, the ratification of Convention 189 offers to the domestic workers international guarantees in case, for some reason, the law can undergo alterations that are not favorable for the workers.
“It is necessary to continue working so that this Convention is approved by all the countries of America and their governments abide by the international legislation of work.
More than 180 countries participated in the 100th ILO Conference and advocated this Convention; now it is possible for us to manage its diffusion and appliance”, concluded the leader.
Read this article in Spanish language: Se ratificó el Convenio 189
Amalia Antúnez on Rel-UITA.org