Updated 09:10 AM EST, Tue, Jan 19, 2021

Mexican Maids Defend Rights of Domestic Workers 

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They clean the house, wash the dishes, do the laundry, run the errands and quite even possibly double as baby-sitters, and yet, very few give maids the respect they deserve.

Actually, they are even denied their rights at times, many of them paid so badly that they cannot afford their own rent. Oftentimes, they are the scapegoats for things that aren't faring so well in the homes they work for.

In Mexico, these maids are starting to fight back.

A report from BBC stated that these days, maids in mexico are looking for support, and by the end of August 2015, a group has successfully formed into the first union, for and run by domestic workers.

Marta Leal Morales, general secretary of the newly-formed National Union of Domestic Workers (Sindicato Nacional de Trabajadores y Trabajadoras del Hogar) said, "Conditions for women who work in homes in Mexico are very precarious. We decided that this union would be to defend the rights of domestic workers, so they could have a better quality of life."

The news outlet noted that according to a national statistics agency, more than 2.3 million people are paid domestic workers in Mexico, 95% of them women. Out of the 2.3 million, nearly two million are maids, the others being cooks, drivers, dishwashers and care workers. Despite their large population, the sector is poorly regulated and they are badly paid -- so badly that some workers receive as little as $6 a day.

With the formation of the new union, these people are going to be more visible, and they will be given a voice. However, with domestic work being a sort of "hidden profession," most of them work informally, without any contracts, so changes for their way of life may be hard.

However, there is still hope. The union is currently recruiting, and is growing in numbers through a Facebook page. However, their outreach efforts, according to VICE News, are not too successful, with the numbers still in the hundreds. The Union's publicist, Mauricio Patron said that recruitment is complicated, "Because this isn't a culture where domestic workers are seen as real employees."

But the union is taking it one step at a time. A source for VICE News said that they're not thinking so far ahead as to ask for paid leave, however, they are demanding a minimum fee of $27 per day. They are also aiming to conduct workshops on workers' rights, gender discrimination and self-esteem to help union members and other people in their line of work.

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