Thursday, February 2

Domestic workers after the sentence: “A door has been opened, we will fight until we have unemployment”

“Excited.” The voice of Rafaela Pimentel, a domestic worker and activist in Domestic Territory, trembles after learning that the European Justice is inclined to believe that Spain discriminates against domestic workers for denying them the right to unemployment. That of Marga is also interrupted, who explained a few days ago in this report what it means to live without the right to unemployment. “A door has been opened, this does not stop there, we will continue fighting until we are all in the General Regime and have the right to unemployment”, values ​​the employee of Peruvian origin. “We have been waiting for years for there to be a political will on the part of Spain to end this discrimination,” Edith Espinola, from the Sedoac collective, recalls for her part.

D-day for the “unemployed” in Spain

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Mobiles burn with whatsapps from some colleagues to others. Yes, “European justice proves us right”, they say in messages in which it seems that they are self-convinced of the historic ruling of the European court after so many years of struggle in which no Spanish government has taken the step of recognizing this protection basic social. They share it on social networks. “The CJEU agrees with us domestic and care workers”.

Years of struggle “and they threw us aside”

“Discrimination against this sector is very clear because the many who support this care and invisible and precarious jobs are women. It is a great joy, and a pity at the same time, that a worker together with her employer and a lawyer have had to carry this outside, to other institutions, so that they can see the discrimination”, values ​​Rafaela Pimentel, member of Domestic Territory. “We have been fighting for this situation for years and we were always pushed aside.”

A fight that continues from today, several of the contacted domestic workers reiterate. This Thursday several of them have started a campaign, which circulates through their terminals and networks, and which they elaborated last night in a meeting between several associations of workers so that the demands of the collectors were grouped under the label #DerechoAParo. “Household and care workers continue in the special regime and we do not have the same rights as all workers in the general regime,” the message states.

The European ruling, they insist, is “an open door” to claim this right from the Government and that it be fulfilled once and for all, after so many failed promises that they have heard in the past. The coalition Executive led by Pedro Sánchez has promised that it will recognize this right, as did its first and brief monocolor PSOE Executive, although it did not take place. The Vice President and Minister of Labor, Yolanda Díaz, has assured that the ILO Convention 189 will be ratified soon, which recognizes this social protection for the group. The ratification process is underway, but has not yet been completed.

“This is a first step to continue strengthening our complaint of discrimination that we suffer,” agrees Edith Espinola, from Sedoac. “We are going to continue advancing and continue denouncing the lack of rights at home here in Spain.” Its objective is not only the right to unemployment, but the equalization of rights (and obligations) within the General Scheme in which the vast majority of workers are grouped. “Being workers with rights, like the others,” they insist, “many patches are made for these workers and we want to be like all workers.”

Thanks for the “bravery” of Mariana

In their messages to, the workers contacted appreciate how “brave” Mariana has been, the domestic worker in Galicia whose case has ended up in European instances. Without asking them about it, several refer to Mariana, of whom they know little more than her name, as if they could send her a message through this page.

“We thank the fellow worker from Vigo, because she has had the courage, along with her employer, to see this, to see it,” Pimentel reiterates excitedly.

Spinola agrees. “Thank Mariana, the colleague who filed this complaint. We owe her all the gratitude and, above all, that she had the courage to go ahead, hand in hand with the employer and her lawyer, for all the employees of the home”, highlights the Sedoac activist.

“The few rights we have, we have achieved through the struggle of domestic workers, who have been organizing for many years,” Pimentel claims. We have seen many types of protest actions by these groups, despite their vulnerability, since they are mostly very precarious workers and in many cases they reach migrant women without papers.

Even so, the groups of employees have staged protests such as bringing toilet brushes to the deputies at the gates of Congress, recording discs with protest songs to demand their rights, dressing statues in the streets with their aprons, making radio soap operas, having races ” precarious”, letter campaigns and denunciations… “We will continue until our rights are recognized”, they also insist today, on this historic day.