The adoption by the International Labour Conference, on 16 June 2011, of ILO Convention No. 189 and Recommendation No. 201 on decent work for domestic workers, was an historic step in the struggle for social justice worldwide. Domestic workers’ organizations have played a crucial role in previous campaigns for the adoption and ratification of Convention No. 189. The organisation of domestic workers have involved a number of challenges – domestic workers may not be recognized as ‘workers’ and the home may not be recognized as a workplace in existing labour law, and they are often denied rights to organize and bargain collectively to improve their working conditions.
Even where laws are in place, the unequal bargaining position of domestic workers in the employment relationship and conditions of poverty compel them to accept unfair labour practices. The organization of domestic workers is key to ensuring their access to labour protections and the advancement of their collective interests through collective bargaining. The following resources outline the ways in which domestic workers have succeeded in organizing and concluding collective agreements.
- Achieving decent work for domestic workers: An organizers manual to promote ILO Convention No. 189 and build domestic workers power, Manual
- Decent work for domestic workers in Asia and the Pacific, Manual for Trainers
- Improving Working Conditions for Domestic Workers: Organizing Coordinated Action and Bargaining, Issue Brief
- Domestic work voice and representation through organizing, Domestic Work Policy Brief No. 8
- Domestic worker organize – but can they bargain?, Fact sheet