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Domestic Worker’s Day marked with protest for Covid relief, higher pay

16 June 2022

By The SUN 

Migrant workers want higher pay and better working conditions plus pandemic relief aid

It’s International Domestic Workers’ Day today, and a group of migrants marked the occasion by picketing the Central Government Offices in Tamar to demand higher pay and their inclusion in the pandemic relief handout.

The protesters came from various ethnic groups under the umbrella of the Asian Migrants Coordinating Body (AMCB).

The group’s spokesperson, Dolores Balladares-Pelaez, said, “Sa loob ng halos tatlong taon ay hindi tayo laging kasama sa financial assistance na binibigay ng Hong Kong samantalang tayo naman ang nagbibigyay ng tulong o kontribusyon sa ekonomiya at local na pamilya.”


(In the past three years of the pandemic we were never included in the financial assistance from the Hong Kong government when we contribute a lot to the economy and help local families).

The call by the migrants for pandemic relief was stepped up after the government announced earlier this week that it was expanding the list of recipients for its $10,000 cash voucher scheme, to include everyone qualified to become a permanent resident.


Implicit in the announcement is that the only ones who will be left out of the windfall are the migrant workers, torture claimants and others who do not have legal status in Hong Kong.

Migrant workers are among a few who will not be entitled to the cash vouchers (File)

Pelaez also reiterated AMCB’s long-standing demand for a minimum living wage, which based on calculations made by Oxfam Hong Kong, should be no less than $6,014 a month, apart from $2,600 in food allowance.

Matagal na natin itong hinihingi pero hindi binibigay,” said Pelaez. (We have long asked for this but it was never given to us).

She said that with Hong Kong being cited as the most expensive city in the world, there is a more compelling reason for migrant workers to get higher pay to cope with rising food prices and the costs of other basic needs.

In a letter submitted to outgoing Chief Executive Carrie Lam, the AMCB also called for amending the standard employment contract for FDWs to allow them 11 hours of uninterrupted rest per day, guarantee their long service pay, and provide them with proper accommodation.

The workers lamented that the hardships caused by the Covid-19 contagion has led to financial hardship for all people, yet they are the only ones who are not being given financial aid.


“We believe that raising the wage of MDWs to a living wage level and reform the policies toward MDW is an act to show the respect for what this population has contributed to Hong Kong society, and to correct the current existing slave wage of MDW,” said their letter.

“We demand that living wage be given to migrant domestic workers.”

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