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MDWs make final pitch for $6,014 minimum wage

25 September 2022

By The SUN


A Labour Dept representative accepts the workers' petition after the protest

Migrant domestic workers made their final Sunday pitch for their minimum salary to be raised to $6,014, before the Hong Kong government decides by month’s end on what the new wage level should be.

Four MDW groups took turns to speak outside the central government offices at Tamar this morning, to call on the government to raise their salary from the current $4,630 to what they call a “living wage.”

The groups are also asking for the food allowance of those who are not provided food by their employers to be raised to no less than $3,023.


Dolores Balladares-Pelaez, spokesperson of Asian Migrants Coordinating Body, said they have been asking for this salary increase for nearly three years now, but because of the pandemic, their wages were instead frozen.

“This amount is not really big and it’s been a campaign of AMCB for three years now,” she said. “We believe that after three years we deserve to live decently in Hong Kong.”

Pelaez pointed out that while permanent residents and new arrivals in Hong Kong were given financial aid to cope with the economic fallout from Covid-19, MDWs were excluded. Thus, they had to dig deep into their own pockets to ensure they remained healthy and fit so they could continue doing their jobs well.


She also said that having made to work 16 hours each day on average, especially when their employers and family members were told to stay indoors because of surges in the infection, MDWs deserve to be rewarded now.

But she said she is optimistic the Hong Kong government would do right by MDWs by granting their request for a salary increase this time.

“I am really, really hopeful and optimistic that the Hong Kong government will give what we are asking for, ” she said.

The groups observed social distancing during their protest outside the Central Govt Offices in Tamar

Another speaker, Cherry Cataluna of the Filipino Migrant Workers Union, chided the HK government for not recognizing the sacrifices made by MDWs at the height of the pandemic.

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“During the pandemic, MDWs continued to work despite the threat to their own health, but this effort has not been appreciated,” she said.

Cataluna also pointed out that even MDWs have to cope with the financial hardship caused by the pandemic because they spend part of their salaries for public transportation and buying food and other necessities on their days off.

The speakers also included Thai and Indonesian migrant workers, and each group had four members who stood together to hold up banners in compliance with the restrictions on public gathering.


The protest ended after a Labour Department representative accepted a signed petition outlining the migrant workers’ demands.

The new MAW has traditionally been announced by the government at the end of September, for implementation in October each year.

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