Domestic workers in Trinidad and Tobago moving toward enhancing sustainability of their cooperative

The ILO partnered with the Service Workers Centre Cooperative Society (SWCC) in Trinidad and Tobago to organize a workshop to discuss concrete steps toward enhancing the sustainability of the cooperative.

News | 21 February 2018
Members of the Service Workers Centre Cooperative Society (SWCC)
The workshop took place on 12-14 October 2017 at Trinidad and Tobago Bureau of Standards with 14 participants who are domestic worker members of SWCC. SWCC was established by the National Union of Domestic Workers (NUDE) in 2014 to have a legal economic entity based on membership and democratic decision making of the domestic workers for improved working conditions and economic benefits.

The workshop focused on topics of priority as identified by the members of SWCC including: Occupational Safety and Health (OSH) for domestic workers; further revisions to the action plan and business plan for SWCC; and validation of model employment contracts developed for SWCC in consultation with the members.

The body mapping exercise on the effects of health hazards
During the session on OSH the SWCC members discussed and shared their experiences on work-related accidents, occupational diseases, sick notices and return to work. They identified different hazards at workplace, and shared ideas and suggestions to make their workplaces safer. In addition to their own experiences, national and international legal framework on OSH, including ILO conventions and recommendations toward improving domestic workers’ safety at work were presented and discussed during this session. The importance of awareness raising such as Vision Zero Global Campaign was highlighted as a possible example. The session was facilitated by the Social Protection and OSH Specialist at ILO Office for The Caribbean.

Later, the participants assessed their progress on the follow-up activities around the action plan and business plan for SWCC, which were developed during 2016-2017 with ILO support. The workshop ended with a tripartite discussion to validate the model contracts developed by an attorney at law for SWCC to ensure the protection of domestic worker members’ rights, with participation of representatives from the Ministry of Labour and employers’ and workers’ organizations.
The tripartite discussion on the model contracts