The biggest migrant domestic worker organization in Hong Kong conducted a protest at the Labor Department office on September 23 to demand a $6,014 per month salary and an additional food allowance worth $2,600.
This protest is made despite the pandemic because the cost of living in Hong Kong continues to grow but domestic helpers were left without government subsidies. In the previous year, the minimum wage mandated by the government is $4,630 plus a food allowance amounting to $1,121.
“Napapanahon po ang pagbibigay ng living wage, (ang) pagtaas ng ating sahod, at kakabit po niyan ang ating panawagan na pagbibigay ng food allowance na $2,600 sa lahat ng manggagawa na binibigyan ng food allowance,” says AMCB spokesperson Dolores Balladares-Pelaez.
Moreover, Pelaez is appealing to the Hong Kong government that FDW’s should be given decent accommodation. A call for a regulation on the working hours of domestic workers was also raised. According to a survey, 70% of domestic workers are working 11-16 hours every day and 30% are working for 16 hours.
“We demand the HKSAR government to amend the Standard Employment Contract for Foreign Domestic Helpers to include resting hours. Specifically, we demand the HKSAR implement a continuous 11-hour rest period between two consecutive workdays plus meal breaks for migrant domestic workers,” the AMCB protested.
The current salary of domestic workers is $4,630. If divided per hour, it is just $31.15 or 56% off $54.40/hour supposed right living wage.