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Workers’ body demands welfare Board

A Correspondent
Shillong, April 27:  The domestic workers of the State under the aegis of the All Meghalaya Domestic Workers’ Union (AMDWU) have urged the state government for fixation of wages and establishment of a domestic workers welfare board in Meghalaya.
On Thursday, a delegation of domestic workers led by members of the All Meghalaya Domestic Workers’ Union met Chief Minister, Conrad K Sangma urging his intervention into the matter.
“The domestic workers are finding it difficult to make ends meet through their jobs,” Wanpynhun Kharsyntiew of the North East Regional Domestic Workers Movement told media persons on Friday.
Kharsyntiew also said that at present there is no uniformity in the payment of wages by the employers to these domestic workers.
She informed that Assam have already fixed minimum wages for their domestic workers.
The All Meghalaya Domestic Workers’ Union wants that domestic workers in the state should be included in the list of schedule of employment through a notification under the Minimum Wages Act, 1948, for fixation and enforcement of minimum wages.
The union also asked the state government to set up a welfare board for the well being of the domestic workers. The welfare board will perform various functions like registration of domestic workers, provide assistance in case of accident, provide medical expenses for treatment of ailments, provide, maternity benefit to the women domestic workers.
Kharsyntiew also informed that the All Meghalaya Domestic Workers’ Union will soon come up with a “wages card” recommending the amount to be paid for every kind of work done and as well as for each category of workers.
As per the recommended rates fixed by the domestic workers themselves, there would be three kinds of workers – part-time, full-time and live-in (those staying in the house of the employers.
According to Kharsyntiew, the monthly wages for part-timers, (those working for an hour) wherein their job profiles are either – washing clothes, washing utensils, cleaning the house, gardening and marketing the fixed rate is Rs 1800 per month.
For those cooking and doing school duty their rate is Rs 2000 for per month.
Baby-sitting and caring for the aged entails a full time job and therefore their wages has been fixed at Rs 8000 per month.
For the live-in domestic workers the All Meghalaya Domestic Workers’ Union has recommended a fixed of Rs 5000 per month (including food, accommodation and toiletries).
As per the recommendation of the union the live-in domestic workers will also be allowed ‘period of rest and weekly day off day’.

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Ankur Kalita