23 April 2015
In the run up to International Workers’ Day, or Labour Day, on May 1, TWC2 has partnered with Ogilvy & Mather (O&M) to launch a campaign urging employers to grant a weekly day off to their domestic workers. As part of the campaign, O&M has created a short film called “Maids and Mums”.
We in TWC2 and other migrant-worker rights organisations have been engaged in such a campaign for more than ten years. The latest figures from the Humanitarian Organisation for Migration Economics (HOME) estimate that approximately 40 percent of Singapore’s 222,500 domestic workers do not have a weekly day off, despite a law coming into effect in January 2013 making it mandatory.
The underlying theme of O&M’s film seeks to convince employers to give domestic workers their day off by showing that domestic workers’ absence is not an inconvenience, but an opportunity for parents (represented by mothers for stylistic consistency) to bond with their children.
While that is true, TWC2’s belief is that a day off is a basic right any worker should have, independent of and separate from such a functional motivation of their employers. We would add that family bonding is the responsibility of both parents.
This is a provocative video that will arouse debate. We at TWC2 hope it will contribute to a constructive re-examination of employers’ relationship with their domestic workers.
View the film and pledge your support: http://igiveadayoff.org
Join the discussion on Twitter with #Igiveadayoff