World

Mexico: Roma director Alfonso Cuarón makes plea for home employees

Protesting domestic workers in Mexico. File photo

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Many of Mexico’s 2.3 million domestic workers have been left without wages

Oscar-winning Mexican director Alfonso Cuarón has backed calls to ensure domestic workers laid off during the Covid-19 pandemic continue to be paid.

“It is our responsibility as employers to pay their wages in this time of uncertainty,” Cuarón said.

He won the best director Oscar in 2019 for Roma, a film casting a spotlight on Latin America’s housekeepers.

Many of Mexico’s 2.3 million domestic workers have been left without wages because of the outbreak.

Their employees have asked them to stay away to protect their families’ health, but have not committed to continue paying them, trade unions say.

“The objective of this campaign is to remember how important it is to take care of those who care for us and the respect that the workers deserve,” said 58-year-old Cuarón.

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AFP/Getty Images

Image caption

Cuarón also won the best director Oscar in 2014 for his film Gravity

Mexico, with a population of nearly 130 million, has more than 74,000 confirmed infections and more than 8,000 virus-related deaths

Earlier this month, local health officials warned that the country had reached “the peak moment” of the outbreak.

And while in many countries doctors and nurses are being praised for their work on the coronavirus front line, in Mexico dozens have been attacked.

By the end of April, there have been at least 47 attacks against health workers, particularly nurses, in the country, the Mexican government says.

And the authorities recognise the true figure may be higher – reports on social media of discrimination range from nurses stopped from getting on buses to doctors assaulted by relatives of Covid-19 patients.

Some of the attacks appear to have been motivated by a misguided attempt to disinfect health workers.

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