Home-based workers who are subcontracted by global supply chains (often called homeworkers) have not received orders or regular orders have not been renewed for weeks, even months.
"Home workers are last in line to benefit from any help being provided by brands, manufacturers or governments, "
Janhavi Dave of HNSA told Anuradha Nagaraj in this Thomson Reuters Foundation article."Many have not been paid since February and they are not expecting work for at least six more months. "
Home-based Workers Demands for Recovery
Home-based Workers united on International Workers’ Day to highlight their struggles and demands, more than one year into the global COVID-19 pandemic.
Home-based Workers be Recognized as Workers:
We work, we produce goods, we provide services, and we contribute to our family incomes and to national and global economies. We want to be heard and seen. We want policies and laws for home-based workers and we demand to be included in decision-making processes that affect us.
Work and Income:
We want work and an income to feed our families and ourselves. We want consistent work orders, cheaper raw material and access to markets. We want piece rates to match living wages. And, we want to be included in new forms of work. We want skills trainings accompanied by working capital to make products that we can continue to sell during the pandemic.
Emergency Support for Home-Based Workers:
The pandemic is not yet over and we are constantly battling with different waves of Covid-19. We are in a continuous state of emergency where we don’t have income to even feed our families. We demand free food for home-based workers and our families till the end of the pandemic. We demand an emergency fund for home-based workers, cash grants and no interest loans to support the livelihoods of home-based workers.
Social Protection for Home-Based Workers:
Social protection is not only a worker right, but also a human right. We demand that home-based workers are immediately included in country social protection schemes and programmes. We demand the universalization of social protection and healthcare. Additionally, we demand that a basic income for home-based workers is implemented.
COVID-19 Protection and Treatment:
We demand access to personal protective equipment (PPE), sanitizers and cleaning products to help us prevent the spread of Covid-10. We also demand that hospital beds, oxygen and ventilators at government hospitals are available for us, and that we have quick access to free vaccinations.
Digital Access for Home-Based Workers and their Children:
The pandemic and the lockdowns have pushed us to our own corners. Now we use mobile phones and internet to reach out to each other and organize as workers. Our children need mobile phones/ computers to attend to on-line school. We demand access to free or affordable digital devices and data packs for us to organize as workers and for our children to access education.