The Domestic Workers Committee unites workers who perform paid domestic labour, such as care for the elderly or children, or cleaning.
We founded the union because we want together to fight for the improvement of conditions for domestic workers. Each of us encounters similar problems. Many of us work for temporary work agencies who reap the rewards of our work, but do not offer us anything in return. We are denied the right to legal employment: we often work without the right to holidays, without health and pension insurance, and without the right to rest periods or to private life.
We want legal work contracts, decent pay, respect and recognition. We aim our demands not only at employers and the agencies who mediate our employment, but also to the government: without our work, society would not be able to function. There are increasing numbers of elderly people, unable to live independent lives. We consider it just that the state should cover a part of the costs of caring for those who need it.
We have founded a trade union, because together we are stronger. What do we do?
If one of us is cheated by an agency or by the family that they work for they can count on the support of the union.
We are learning about what rights we have as carers, and about how to effectively act in order for them to be respected. We are getting to know Polish labour law, examining the legislation and processes connected to the legalization of residence in Poland and learning how not to let ourselves be cheated.
We meet with organisations, politicians and other trade unions in Poland and internationally who want to work with us to secure decent conditions of domestic work.
We meet on Sundays in order to spend time together, to talk, drink tea, have a laugh and exchange experiences.
The right for our work to be recognised as a significant part of Poland’s health and elderly care system, and to be supported by the state.
The right to forms of legal employment appropriate to the specifics of domestic care work.
The right to simpler procedures for legal work and residence.
The right to a clear definition of work conditions and duties. We are not workers who can be expected to “do anything”!
The right to a decent wage for all the actions and hours required for our work.
The right to decent social and living conditions.
The right to free time.
The right to be free from sexual harassment (and other forms of bullying from employees).
The right to have access to legal and psychological assistance.
The right to work in an environment in which we feel safe and in which our care for our clients is valued.
Do you work as a care-worker or cleaner? Have you had enough of work without a contract, of low pay and a lack of free time? Have you been cheated, or found yourself in a difficult situation? Do you want to change something?
Sign up to our union. It doesn’t matter what kind of contract you have, where you are from or on what conditions you reside in Poland. Together we are stronger – we help each other and fight for better work conditions.
The website was established as part of the Coalition of Minority and Migrant Organizations with a grant from the Active Citizens Program – National Fund funded by the EEA Funds.