Three non-profit organizations for domestic workers press conference,
Stop lying about the legislation for domestic work! Stop now!
We condemn the Ministry of Employment and Labor for its idleness!
On Friday November 6th, the National House Managers’ Cooperation, YWCA Korea, and the National Domestic Workers Association hosted a press conference at the main gate of the National Assembly.
In February, the Ministry of Employment and Labor announced that they will legislate a law ‘act on usage of domestic service and employment of in-home workers’ in March. It is almost at the end of the year, yet the promise from the ministry is missing. Now, the three organizations hosted the press conference to condemn the ministry for its idleness.
In the conference Yoon Hyeon-Mi, a president of the National House Managers’ Cooperation, argued that domestic workers should stop just waiting the legislation but the workers voice their requests so that we can achieve the new law that protects domestic workers’ human rights and labor rights.
Kim Jae-Soon, who also gave a speech at the conference, spoke up about the reality of domestic workers that the workers lack break , vacation, any protection from the injury at work. She also condemned that the work is unstable as workers are often fired without any notice and they have nowhere even when their clients treated them as a thief or offend their feeling with verbal abuse.
Reading a joint statement for the press conference, the representatives of the three organization requested that; ▲ the article 11 clause 1 in the Labor Standard Act, which excludes domestic workers from the scope of application of the law, must be deleted; ▲ the law protecting domestic workers must be legislated promptly; ▲ stable work environment where domestic workers can work safely must be created; ▲ public assistance for single-parent, low-income families must be expanded;▲ the government must establish policies that cultivate non-profit domestic service provider organizations. The three organizations conduct a performance condemning the empty word of ministry by breaking rice chips which is empty inside.
A missing legislation: we strongly condemning the empty word of the government that ignores people
It has been five years since the alliance of domestic workers’ organizations and civic groups in the labor movement has proposed amendment of the Labor Standard Act and legislation of a law protecting domestic workers in 2010. Meanwhile, outside the country the ILO convention concerning domestic workers in 2011;inside the country, national assembly of Korea urged the ratification of the convention in 2011, the Korea Tripartite Commission made its official request for protection for domestic workers in 2012.
After all these long discussions, the Ministry of Employment and Labor announced that they will promote ‘formalization of informal labor market’ as a means of ‘improving labor market structure in order to create more jobs’ in January 13, 2015. In February 24th, the ministry also made an announced that they will legislate a law to formalize domestic workers in the informal labor market and enforce it next year.
It seemed that the legal protection of domestic workers are on the progress; indeed, domestic workers and citizens who heard the news about the legislation paid attention to the issue, expecting that the government pays attention to the reality of people and brings a real change that people actually can see. So did we domestic workers organizations. Although the result of our continuous request for amendment of the Labor Standard Act, which can bring a profound change, is not our satisfactory, we agreed that the announcement from the ministry about the legislation would be a big step towards the stability in employment of domestic workers. So we hosted forums and educated people in order to gather voice from the workers and to reach out people.
However, at the almost end of year, in October, we do not see the promise, which is supposed to be fulfilled as one of the major tasks of the government. There is long way to go to legislate, such as, hosting public hearing, making a legislation notice, and searching funding for the legislation, yet the government keeps silence on this matter. Where did the promise with the people go? Was the promise that gave hope to domestic workers and the people about the change just a empty word? Did they just threw it out there? The Ministry of Employment and Labor, as a ministry in charge, must show us a road map for the legislation; when and with what contents will they propose the legislation? When will the law will be enforced? How will they find the financial source for the enactment of the law?
All these questions must be answered specifically and clearly. We also request an official meeting with the minister of the Ministry of Employment and Labor. The minister avoided answering the national assembly members' questions, showing very irresponsible attitude in the parliamentary inspection of the administration. As a chair of the ministry that governs administrations on employment and labor, he must express a formal position of the government in the meeting with us. On behalf of 300,000 domestic workers, we request to the government as follow.
First, the article 11 clause 1 in the Labor Standard Act, which excludes domestic workers from the scope of application of the law, must be deleted!
Second, the law protecting domestic workers must be legislated immediately!
Third, stable work environment where domestic workers can work safely must be created!
Fourth, public assistance for single-parent, dual-earner, and low-income families must be expanded!
Fifth, the government must establish policies that cultivate non-profit domestic service provider organizations!
November 6th, 2015
Members of the National House Managers’ Cooperation, YWCA Korea, and the National Domestic Workers Association