Belgium’s FGTB trade union federation has come out strongly against what it sees as a major contradiction in the new measures decided by the Consultative Committee against the spread of Coronavirus.
The labour union noted on Friday evening, in a reaction to the measures, that households were being made to limit outside contacts strictly whereas the hiring of domestic workers under the ‘titre-services’ system continued.
“How can you, on one hand, limit contacts at a private home to one person per week and, at the same time, keep the ‘titre-services’ sector open,” the FGTB commented. It described the measures as “political decisions” that are “totally schizophrenic and incomprehensible for domestic workers,” and called for the sector to be closed down.
“The different governments need to be coherent,” the federation said. “You cannot limit visits to one person per week and allow domestic workers to enter and leave dozens of households.”
In Belgium, families can employ household help through a system of vouchers known as “titre-services.” The sector represents about 140,000 workers and over a million users, 24% of whom are over the age of 65 years.
“There is therefore a real risk,” the FGTB stressed. ”Add to that the fact that customers are at home since they are telecommuting or taking care of the children, so the incoherence is easy to see.”
The federation is therefore calling for the sector to be closed, while urging regional governments to use the budgeted funds to help domestic workers.
“The political world needs to prevent, at all cost, workers who have already suffered from the first lockdown from fall into even greater need,” it said.