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2 Pinay helpers claim being driven out of employer's Peak house in wee hours

09 January 2019

By Vir B. Lumicao
Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Wanchai

A Filipina helper said she was forced out of her employer’s house on The Peak in the early hours of Jan. 6 after she refused to sign a resignation letter.

Jerlyn Tribajo, 28, said her employer, a certain Ms Lau, was angered by a complaint she had made to her Hong Kong agent about her irregular meal times and insufficient rest.

Tribajo also complained about the employer’s pet dog biting her hand last month. She claimed that instead of taking her to a doctor for anti-rabies shot, the employer only applied a cream to the wound.

Tribajo’s fellow Filipina maid, Tessa Bas, 29, was also allegedly driven away from the house when the
saw her with her suitcase ready.

According to Tribajo, Ms Lau  told her at 2am that day to write a resignation letter, but she refused, telling the employer to terminate her instead.

That allegedly angered the employer that she tried to yank Tribajo out of her bed, and out the room she shared with Bas.

Tribajo said the employer pulled her arms and tried to grab her cell phone, which hurt so much she screamed in pain. That prompted her employer to release her, which in turn gave her a chance to call the police.

When the officers arrived about half an hour later, the employer told the two helpers to leave the house.

The Filipinas said the police gave them a ride and dropped them off in Central. There, another helper saw them and hearing about their plight, took them to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office in Wanchai so they could file a complaint.

The next day they went to the Labour Department’s Labour Relations Division in Sheung Wan to report the employer and seek advice regarding their money claims.

A labour officer computed their money claim against their employer as follows: $7,638 comprising one month’s wage in lieu of notice and arrears in wages for Tribajo; and $7,600 for Bas. Both were also told to claim $1,700 each for air ticket.

The two Filipinas were advised to seek their agency’s help in getting the employer to pay up.  

On being told this, the agency called up the employer on Jan 7, but she reportedly said it is the workers who should be paying her a month’s wage in lieu of notice for allegedly walking out on their jobs. 

The helpers and their employer have been called to a conciliation meeting at the Labour Relations office on Jan 11 to try and work out a settlement.

Aside from the irregular meals and endless work, Tribajo, from Davao, and Bas, from Bukidnon, complained that Lau, who stayed at home, scolded and insulted them frequently.

They started working for Lau and her husband only on Nov 15.

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