今年，亞洲移住人士組織(Asian Migrants’ Coordinating Body, AMCB)要求將規定最低工資，增加790港元至 5,000港元(18.8%)。我們的理由很簡單：現時不同種族家務工的月薪，根本不足以維持我們面對通脹的需要，甚至無法支撐一個人在香港生存一個月。
本地工人要求增加最低時薪至 38港元。若果我們以此為最低工資基礎計算，不同種族家務工每天工作至少十小時，月薪原本應有5335港元。但由於香港缺少爭取本地工人工資的大型運動，AMCB只得爭取 5000港元月薪。
移民工牧民中心(Mission for Migrant Workers , MFMW)去年研究不同個案，發現83%的不同種族家務工工時過長，與2014年的82%及2013年的近87%結果相近。超過一半不同種族家務工工作11至16小時，43%工人每日更工作超過16小時。
Fight for a HK$5000 minimum wage and regulate working hours of FDWs!
Unite with workers and people for our rights!
This year’s International Labor Day marks the renewed call of Asian domestic workers in Hong Kong for a more decent wage level and the inclusion of foreign domestic workers (FDWs) in the regualtion of working hours. These are two of the most fundamental issues that workers have carried since even before the first Labour Day was held.
Social exclusion is very much alive in Hong Kong and it results to a condition of marginalisation, erosion of rights and modern day slavery of FDWs.
FDWs were not included in the Statutory Minimum Wage that could have prevented our wage from arbitrary cuts and could have established a foundation for wage increase. In the current discussions on working hours regulation, FDWs are also not included.
As social exclusion heightens, we intensify the fight for our rights as workers of Hong Kong.
5K is OK
The fight for wage increase is always and ever, a just struggle of workers.
This year, the AMCB calls for an increase of the Minimum Allowable Wage (MAW) to HK$5,000 or a HK$790 (18.8%) increase. Our reason is simple: the current wage of FDWs is not enough to sustain our needs in the face of yearly inflation, and does not even come close to what a person needs per month in order to survive in Hong Kong.
Local workers have asked for an increase of the per hour wage to HK$38. If we make it as a basis for minimum wage, an FDW who works for a conservative 10 hours per day should receive HK$5335 per month. In consideration to the lack of significant movement on the wage of local workers, the AMCB pegs our call to HK$5000.
Too long have we been made to contend with measly wage hikes. It is high time for the Hong Kong government to prioritize the condition and demands of workers.
Regulation working hours of FDWs
Long working hours is a common situation of FDWs who are mostly live-in employees.
Study of the cases of the Mission for Migrant Workers (MFMW) last year revealed that 83% of their clients suffer from this condition, which was the almost the same as in 2014 at 82% and in 2013 at almost 87%. More than half of FDWs work form 11 to 16 hours while 43% work for more than 16 hours each day.
This problem is very much related to the fact the FDWs are forced to live with the household who employs them which results to other problems such as lack of proper accommodation or abuses that often don’t get reported immediately.
Aside from being an evidently exploitative practice, having very long working hours also impact on the mental, physical, emotional and social wellbeing of FDWs.
In the current discussions on regulation of working hours, the Hong Kong government must follow the spirit and letter of the ILO Convention on Decent Work (C189) which states that domestic workers should not be treated less favourably than local workers. Contrary to claims that FDW working hours could not be regulated, other countries actually have policies governing working hours of FDWs – even those who have live-in arrangements.
Fight social exclusion! We are workers, not slaves!
Social exclusion kills rights of migrants.
It is a neoliberal framework and practice that denies the fact that FDWs too are workers and thus have labor rights as other workers. Migrants like FDWs remain as cheap and disposable workers with limited rights, and who can be exploited to the hilt due to their desperation for jobs that are not present in their home country.
It also pits workers against each other in order to protect the interest of businesses and ensure their steady profit-making and taking. It aims to break the solidarity of the working people to blur the essential exploitation of all workers by a system ruled by capital, especially by monopolists.
In this year’s International Labour Day, FDWs in Hong Kong affirm our fight for our rights as workers. Further, we affirm our solidarity with workers in Hong Kong, and in our home country whose labor struggles are very much connected to the forced migration of our people.
Workers unity is not only a slogan. It is our weapon to resist neoliberal attacks to our class and to our people. It is at the center of our struggle for an economic, political and social system that is for the interest of the many and not only the few who currently controls the capital and power in world.