Caring for those who care
As millions of home caregivers around the world are forced to confront the COVID19 pandemic with limited access to protective equipment (PPEs) and precarious working conditions to care of the elderly and sick, UNI Global Union launched the campaign #ProtectHomeCareWorkers to acknowledge the need to “care for those who care”. Home care workers and their unions from Argentina, Australia, Austria, India, Nepal, Philipines, Italy, Ireland, Switzerland, Spain, USA, Zimbabwe and many other countries are demanding today protection and better working conditions in the sector.
“Home care workers are the first line of defense against COVID19 for millions of elderly and sick patients,” said General Secretary of UNI Hoffman. “This crisis is showing the world the vital role that caregivers play in our societies, now that we all know, we should get to work to ensure that those who care have not only access to Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs), COVID19 testing but also decent pay and union representation.”
Since the coronavirus outbreak started, UNI Global Union has repeatedly demanded protections for frontline workers in the care industry. Last March, UNI Global Union General Secretary Christy Hoffman submitted a the letter to the Director General of WHO Doctor Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, demanding improved WHO guidelines for home care workers.
Caregivers across the world have the duty to shield some of the most vulnerable members of society from COVID-19. But as the World Health Organization has already warned, the severe and mounting disruption to the global supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) – caused by rising demand, hoarding and misuse – is putting them and the elderly in danger. As governments struggle to properly equip care and healthcare workers, unions are stepping up the pressure to keep workers safe and save lives.
“Home care workers deserve more recognition, and their concerns deserve all of our attention," said UNI Global Union General Secretary Christy Hoffman. "With good salaries, guaranteed hours, sick leave, health insurance, training and sectoral collective bargaining agreements, home care jobs can become the cornerstone of a new economy of care that will make our societies more compassionate and resilient. Home care will be after the crisis one of the largest job potential areas for millions of workers."