Domestic Worker Rights

Kenya Union: Ban on Labor Recruiting Agencies Should Stay

The Central Organization of Trade Unions–Kenya (COTU-K) said the country’s recent decision to lift its ban on workers migrating to Qatar and Saudi Arabia for jobs is “ill advised,” and urges the government to keep the ban in place until the Ministry of Labor provides a report that shows working conditions have improved. “The ban… [READ MORE]

Social Justice Unionism: Labor Can Make Change

“Informal workers are organizing and they will organize as long as there is injustice and oppression,” says Sue Schurman, distinguished professor of Labor Studies and Employment Relations at Rutgers University. Opening a Solidarity Center book launch and panel discussions on Informal Workers and Collective Action: A Global Perspective this morning, Schurman also cautioned that unless… [READ MORE]

Decent Work Day: Focus on Living Wages

  • October 5, 2017
  • Christopher Dunn

When Mwahamisi Josiah Makori, a Kenyan mother of three who worked as a domestic worker in Saudi Arabia, first arrived at her new employer’s house, she was given only 20 minutes before she began work. After that, she began a three-month period which involved hard labor, brutal sleeping conditions, and no pay. For three months,… [READ MORE]

Victory for Kenya Domestic Workers Migrating for Jobs

Kenyans going abroad to work as domestic workers will be required to have contracts, salaries and details of their work assignments before they leave, according to the (Kenya) Daily Nation. The draft policy, crafted by the Labor Ministry and the Kenya Union of Domestic, Hotel, Educational Institutions, Hospitals and Allied Workers (KUDHEIHA), is part of… [READ MORE]

Migrant Domestic Worker in South Africa: Better Conditions with Union

Prexedes, a domestic worker from Zimbabwe in South Africa, says migrant workers in South Africa often are paid lower wages and suffer harsher working conditions than their South African counterparts. Supporting her three children on her own, Prexedes struggled to pay for transportation to work and food for her family, and often worked overtime for… [READ MORE]

Kenya’s Jayne Njoki Helps Lead Future of Young Workers

As a young woman working in her company’s IT department, Jayne Muthoni Njoki was frustrated by what she says were employer attempts to push her around because of her youth and sex. But rather than quit her job, which she contemplated, she ran for a leadership position in her union, determined to work with others to make… [READ MORE]

Campaign Vows to End Gender-Based Violence at Work

No global data document gender-based violence at work. But across the board, gender-based violence remains one of the most tolerated violations of workers’ human rights. Some 35 percent of women over age 15—818 million women globally—have experienced sexual or physical violence at home, in their communities or in the workplace. The Solidarity Center and allies… [READ MORE]

Mexican Domestic Workers Launch Job Contract Campaign

  • July 27, 2017
  • Gladys Cisneros

The Mexican domestic workers union, SINACTRAHO, last week launched a far-reaching campaign to ensure domestic workers across Mexico are covered by employment contracts. “Our goal is to have 10,000 workers sign a formal contract with their employers, in time for December holidays,” says Marcelina Bautista, SINACTRAHO co-president. “Trabajo Digno por Ti, por Mi y todas… [READ MORE]

Hundreds Join Migrant Worker Forum in Mombasa

Some 200 people from the Kisauni neighborhood in Mombasa, Kenya, took part in a forum on migrant worker rights Saturday, where those who had gone abroad for work described the harsh conditions they endured and how the labor brokers who signed them up often lied about the wages they would receive and the type of… [READ MORE]

Kenya Domestic Workers Find Hope with Union

Like many women in Mombasa, Kenya, Alice Mwadzi says for years she barely eked out a living. A lack of jobs in the port city for many means a constant struggle to survive—selling fruit on busy highways or hauling carts stacked with heavy water containers through congested streets—involving long hours of often back-breaking work for… [READ MORE]