Historical Legacies: Postsocialism, Trade Unions, and Organizing Domestic Workers in the Czech Republic

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Lisa-Marie Heimeshoff


After the adoption in 2011 of ILO Convention 189 on Decent Work for Domestic Workers,national campaigns for ratification took different organizational forms in different countries. While in some cases trade unions organized domestic workers, in others domestic workers were represented by NGO s, and in yet others alliances between different organizational forms developed. Based on Shireen Ally’s classifications of domestic worker organizing, this article defines the case of the Czech Republic as following an associational model. The article explains the lack of union involvement in demanding ratification by referring to the postsocialist legacies of trade union organizing, but also by the fact that domestic workers do not feel that trade unions can represent their rights. This is not only because of a lack of knowledge about tradeunions or of not seeing trade unions as being able to represent self-employed or informal workers, but because their identity aligns better with organizing based on migration status and gender than on class. In English, extended summary in Russian.


Domestic Work, Representation, Organizing, Czech Republic, Migration, Postsocialism, Trade Unions

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