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 Mis Compañeras” (“Decent Work for You, for Me, and all My Sisters”) also is gaining unlikely support—from employers.

“This is not an act of kindess, this is an action of responsibility,” says Maite Azuela, speaking on behalf of “Hogar Justo Hogar” (Home, Just Home), a group of employers that aims to work jointly with workers to improve rights and labor conditions.

“The unjust conditions that exist in our country and in our workplaces, we as employers too often replicate at home,” she says. “Building the country that we truly want is work that begins at home.”

During the campaign launch June 23, which coincided with Mexico’s annual day to celebrate domestic work, the union presented two model contracts, one for domestic workers who labor full time for an employer, and another for part-time workers. The contracts include a calculation sheet to determine proper accrual and payment of benefits afforded to workers under law.

“I appreciate Marcelina´s work and support, and all the people here, because I am beginning to understand that there are people who support us,” says SINACTRAHO member Yazmin Méndez.

“I know that we can change the situation that we as workers live. Our work is the same as another job, we have rights and resposibilities.”

SINACTRAHO was founded two years ago and has since grown to some 900 members nationwide. The struggle by Mexico’s domestic workers for rights on the job is documented in the film, “Day Off” (Día de Descanso), in which SINACTRAHO executive board members take part.