Home care service workers in Andalusia, Spain, started their protest march from Almeria on Saturday, January 8, demanding adequate wages for caregivers and an end to subcontracting. Protest marches under the banner ‘White March in Defense of Home Care Service’ called by the General Confederation of Labor (CGT) union will take place in 13 other major cities in the province of Andalusia in the coming weeks, concluding in Seville on April 8. The CGT has stated that it wants to ensure recognition and dignity for home care services and workers in the sector.
According to reports, Home Care Services (SAD) in Andalusia and its workers have been facing several issues. Around 22,000 people work in the sector, most of them women. The protesting workers have demanded the elimination of subcontractors in the sector and the establishment of a minimum net value per hour of work at 10 euros (USD 11.32) for home assistants. They also allege that most of the Andalusian city councils have put SAD in the hands of private companies that exploit workers who are caring for elders and dependents.
Prior to the mobilization in Almeria on Saturday, the CGT stated that “the march that will take us from Almeria to Seville is intended to shout to the citizens the socio-labor conditions suffered by the collective, the weariness, the lack of protection and the invisibility of this essential service with almost 22,000 professionals.”
The union also demanded the “elimination of waiting lists” of dependent people with home help needs, the establishment of a minimum net value per hour of work for home help assistants at 10 euros per hour, and establishment of the weekly work limits for the sector at a maximum of 35 hours per week and minimum of 25 hours per week.
Miguel Montenegro, CGT general secretary in Andalusia, said that “caregivers have been subjected to precarious working conditions and the lack of professional recognition. The profit of this service ends with contractors and subcontractors that come to take advantage of precarious work.”
On December 16, the CGT leadership had handed over a memorandum with 5,723 signatures from care workers to the president of the Andalusian regional government, Moreno Bonilla, demanding dignified working conditions and benefits for the caregivers and to ensure quality service to dependents and the elderly.