Date
19 January 2017
Foreign domestic players seek better pay and working conditions. Photo: Bloomberg
Foreign domestic players seek better pay and working conditions. Photo: Bloomberg

Foreign maids seek higher pay, ban on high-rise window cleaning

Hundreds of foreign domestic helpers took to the streets to demand a hike in their minimum pay, limited working hours and a ban on employers asking them to perform dangerous jobs such as cleaning high-rise windows.

Around 500 foreign maids joined the march organized by the Asian Migrants Coordinating Body, an alliance of several unions of foreign maids in the city, from Chater Road in Central to Sheung Wan, Sky Post reports.

Shouting slogans and holding up banners, the maids called for a rise in their minimum wage to HK$5,000 (US$644.73) a month as well as their monthly meal allowance to HK$1,600.

They also urged the government to set a rule that forbids their employers from asking them to work for more than eight hours a day.

The last time domestic helpers in Hong Kong saw a pay rise was on Oct. 1, 2015, when the minimum monthly wage was raised to HK$4,119 from HK$3,210, while the monthly meal allowance was set at no less than HK$995 from HK$964.

The alliance said some domestic helpers are working as long as 16 hours a day and they deserve to be treated the same as local workers in terms of pay, Oriental Daily reported.

They also urged the government to ensure their safety while working by prohibiting employers from asking them to perform dangerous chores.

A Filipino maid fell to her death last month while she was reportedly cleaning the windows of her employer’s flat in a high-rise building, the latest of such accidents happening in the city over the years.

While the alliance said the government is not doing enough to take care of foreign maids, it is expected to see something positive when the government announces the results of its review of the current policy on foreign domestic helpers next month.

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TL/AC/CG

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