Eastern Mirror Desk
Dimapur, Feb. 7: The All Nagaland Domestic Workers’ Union (ANDWU) has achieved half their objective toward attaining welfare rights now that the Nagaland government’s directorate of Labour has registered and recognised said organisation as a trade union. It was recognised by provisions of the Indian Trade Unions Act of 1926 on Nov. 29 2018.
This was informed by the Nagaland unit of the National Domestic Workers Movement’s legal advisor Limanochet.
Limanochet, the movement’s legal advisor since 2013, said that the recognition and registration of the ANDWU as a union will improve the condition of the workers and empower domestic workers in collective bargaining.
With the recognition of the union under the Indian Trade Unions Act of 1926, the objectives of the union are: organising persons working as domestic workers in the state and regulating their relations with their employer; improving living and working conditions of the members; solving the problems of the members and trying to avoid wage deductions; and making efforts to give advance. According to the Registrar of Trade Union, the union will have a legal advisor who will assist the office bearers, which comprises president, vice president, secretary, assistant secretary, treasurer, and executive committee, to reconcile disputes, election matters, accidental cases; and maintenance of rules and regulations of the union.
The ANDWU states that the union aims to promote unity, justice and dignity among domestic workers within the state, and to promote the welfare of the members.
However, the legal advisor said that the movement’s demand for inclusion of domestic workers as ‘workers’ in the scheduled employment list of the Nagaland Minimum Wage of 2012 was yet to be met.
“It is very important for the domestic workers to be recognised as workers because in Nagaland domestic workers are not considered as workers and for this reason it is crucial for them to be included in the Nagaland Minimum Wage of 2012,” Limanochet said.
The legal advisor pointed out that domestic workers are considered the lowest in the economic chain, while they are not considered as workers. He lamented that they are the most unorganised sector in Nagaland and are therefore exploited.
Limanochet said domestic workers in Nagaland should be recognised as workers without delay and included in the Nagaland Minimum Wage of 2012 considering the vulnerable position they are at. Employers also should take proactive steps to uplift domestic workers, Limanochet said.
There are 1,750 registered members with the state NDWM who are also registered with the Nagaland Domestic Workers Union.
The recognition of the ANDWU as a union comes after intensive demands and representations to the state govt. besides through media publicity and campaigns.