Sunday, April 14, 2024

Black housekeepers being exploited


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Dear Christine,
I am just writing these few lines to see if I can get this message out to the Minister of Labour and the Ministry of Labour.
I would like to know why the Government of Barbados allows these English people here to run private houses and exploit us black housekeepers.
I work at a house in St?James as a housekeeper from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, but I am only paid for eight hours.
What about the overtime?
For bank holidays I get a day’s pay, and the same thing goes for Christmas Day. The pay is only $ 66 for these long hours.
We who are housekeepers need urgent help.
Do you know what it is to work seven days a week with no off days for the same $66 and with National Insurance Scheme [contributions] coming out of  your pay package?
Yes, we want to work, because we have families to look after and bills to pay. Obviously, however, slavery is still in fashion.
We are human beings and we deserve better.
These people are exploiting black housekeepers. They don’t care about us. Do you know the risk that we take leaving work during the late hours of the night and walking long distances to get to a bus?
What if we are attacked?
Come on, Government! You need to step in and let these people and realty agencies treat us better than that. Only God knows what we go through. I certainly hope that the relevant authorities will step in and clarify this situation.
Your letter is clearly a desperate cry for help, and it is placed here in full view so that the relevant authorities would read it and understand the exploitation which you speak so plainly about.
I would also suggest that you call the Chief Labour Officer or a senior person in the Labour Department to have this matter looked into. A call to an office of one of the country’s workers’ unions should also shed some light on this matter.
I am aware in many work practices that special pay – up to triple pay in some instances – is paid to employees who work on special holidays, including Christmas. Ask some questions concerning this.
I am sure that other members of the public and the relevant public and private sector agencies would also want to offer their views concerning this matter.
I hope your letter will bring about some investigations and change.


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