Coronavirus Pune: Domestic workers fear pay cuts, job loss

Pranita Roy
Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Domestic workers include those who are employed in households for cleaning, maintenance, cooking or babysitting.

PUNE: Ever since the coronavirus lockdown was first announced, domestic helps, working in various households were asked not to go to work, but now with the nationwide lockdown extended till May 3, many of them fear job loss and pay cuts may happen.

The Pune Zilla Ghar Kamgar Sanghatana (CITU) has issued another letter -- third since lockdown -- to the State Labour Commission demanding inclusion of domestic workers in their orders which mentions about full-payment of all labourers.

Domestic workers include those who are employed in households for cleaning, maintenance, cooking or babysitting. Around one lakh domestic helpers work in Pune district.

“So far, we haven’t received any complaints regarding payment cut of domestic helpers. They have worked for the first three weeks of March so that they will receive their salaries. However, the concern stands valid for April which will be the first full month when domestic workers are absent at work after lockdown has been imposed,” said CITU President Kiran Moghe.

The letter stated that the State Labour Commission has ordered all private and public sector companies to pay full wages of all the workers and no salary-cuts should be implemented during the lockdown. Moghe lamented that the letter missed mention of domestic workers.

Section 2 (d) and 2 (m) of the Maharashtra Domestic Workers Welfare Board Act, 2008 identifies the work of domestic workers and their workplace (flats, bungalow, palace, villa). This means that the State government recognises domestic workers. Therefore, an order specifically stating no salary cut or job loss of domestic workers should also be issued, stated the letter to the labour commission.

The organisation has appealed in the letter that the domestic workers shouldn’t be forced to resume their work in this situation.

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