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Employer hunted down by helper over unpaid wages ready to settle

26 July 2019

A Filipina helper who failed to find her former employer in a manhunt in the New Territories last month has received feelers that her quarry is willing to show up and settle her claim for unpaid wages at the Labour Tribunal.

The employer who did not show up at the Labour Tribunal hearing now wants to settle
Maricel Ulay launched her search for Chu Wa-chuen after the employer did not show up at the tribunal hearing on Jul 16 of the helper’s claim totaling $8,000 in unpaid wages, one month’s pay in lieu of notice, air ticket and travel allowance.

Right after the hearing, Ulay and a friend set out for a village in Sheung Shui near the Chinese border in search of Chu’s laundry shop so they could personally hand the Tribunal’s notice of hearing to her.
“Nakita po namin yung lugar pero napapalibutan siya ng mataas na bakod na yero at semento. Wala pong numero at walang laman ang mailbox. Wala rin po kaming nakitang tao,” Ulay said.

Luckily, Chu reportedly sent word through her Hong Kong employment agent later that she would attend the next hearing and try to settle the claim. 
Ulay is scheduled to go back to the Tribunal on Aug 1 to report on her search for Chu, and if allowed, refile her claim. Presiding Officer G.T. Lung had earlier dismissed her claim because Chu could not be located.

The employer’s absence at the last hearing was Ulay’s first setback since terminating her contract with Chu after just four months, for allegedly letting her work illegally in the laundry shop.
With help from former Labor Attache Jalilo dela Torre, Ulay had previously recovered Php45,000 from Place Well International, an employment agency in Manila that deployed her to Hong Kong.

During the Tribunal hearing Ulay was told that the court notice could not be delivered to Chu as she was not in the address that she had supplied. Ulay said Chu had written down the address in their employment contract.

Lung advised the Filipina to try to find the defendant and supply her new address to the court so the claim could be re-filed. – Vir B. Lumicao
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