Domestic Workers In Nagaland Paid Less For More Work, Says National Domestic Workers Movement Nagaland Coordinator - Eastern Mirror
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Domestic workers in Nagaland paid less for more work, says National Domestic Workers Movement Nagaland Coordinator

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By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: Mar 24, 2022 12:28 am
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Domestic workers holding posters and placards during National Demand Day of Domestic Workers on March 23, at Assisi Auditorium, Dimapur. (EM Images)

Our Reporter
Dimapur, March 23 (EMN):
Domestic workers in Nagaland has been demanding the state government to include them in the scheduled employment list of the Minimum Wages Act but their cries haven’t been heard till date.

Observing National Demand Day for Domestic Workers at Assisi Auditorium in Khermahal, Dimapur, on Wednesday, the National Domestic Workers Movement Nagaland (NDWM) region Coordinator, Sr. Pramila Lobo reiterated that domestic workers are overworked but underpaid.

The state government has failed to recognise domestic workers as ‘workers’, she said, adding that unless comprehensive registration of domestic workers is constituted, they will continue to face the grim reality.

She stated that the domestic workers are looked down upon and treated as mere servants, adding that many Naga workers  therefore do not like to ‘openly say’ that they are domestic workers.

She mentioned that Nagas do not get domestic work due to ‘demand of high wages’ whereas migrants are easily accepted by employers because they are willing to work for a cheaper rate.

Further, she said that domestic workers have to confront violation of rights; low rate of payments; no leave; no fixed minimum wage; verbal, sexual and all types of abuses at workplace; delay in payment; withholding of payment; sudden dismissal of work; and discrimination. They are also victims of suspicion on a daily basis, she added.

The demands of the domestic workers included ratification of International Labour Organisation (ILO) C 189, enactment of national comprehensive legislation for domestic workers, enactment of (Nagaland) state legislation for domestic workers, and enrolment of domestic workers in the schedule of employment and thus entitle them to Minimum Wages Act.

Further, sharing about the E-Shram portal launched by the government of India, where all informal workers have been asked to register, she stated that registering online is inaccessible to thousands of workers and the categorisation of workers is also misleading as informal workers may work in several kinds of jobs.

‘There is very little information regarding this portal and under which department’s jurisdiction it falls. Moreover, for states where workers have already registered in various Labour Welfare Boards, there is no clarity regarding which registration holds validity. Hence, there is need for greater transparency on this subject as labour has been a concurrent subject till now,’ she stated.

Grace Gonmei, a domestic worker, questioned why the minimum wage for domestic workers has not been fixed till today. She said that “neglecting and delaying our rights is a crime”.

She also stated that employers do not realise the contribution of domestic workers in their homes.

Another domestic worker, Maya Sahu, shared that there is no big or small job, “so give respect to even the domestic workers”.

Temsunaro, another domestic worker, shared that even government employees get off on Sundays, but they aren’t given a single day off even when they are sick.

Asenla Sangtam, also a domestic worker, stated: “We need our own identity because since we do not have identity, we are underpaid.”

“Let us unite together and fight for our demands to be fulfilled,” she added.

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By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: Mar 24, 2022 12:28:49 am
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