不同種族家務工[1],是誰?Who are Migrant Domestic Workers[2]?

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五一遊行當天,有那麼一群姊妹, 身著鮮艷,敲著空洗潔精瓶子和玻璃樽,在隊伍裡吵吵鬧鬧地出現。高舉的牌子上寫著:“Wage Increase $5000”、“Regulate Working Hours”,以及其他說來艱澀但殘忍的政策。亞洲移住人士組織(Asian Migrants Coordinating Body, AMCB)在五一前夕出了一篇聲明(Link3),解釋訴求背後的原因。看不慣文宣的我們,欲從故事出發,先認識她們獨特的生活,她們眼中的香港人,再去談工時、工資,以至對不同種族家務工的理解是否合理。

On May 1st, a group of sisters showed up in the march, wearing colorful clothes, knocking empty detergent containers and glass bottles, yelling loudly. They held high signboards which wrote: “Wage Increase $5000”, “Regulate Working Hours”, and other incomprehensible but cruel policies. On May 1st, Asian Migrants Coordinating Body (AMCB) published a statement (Link3) to explain those slogans. Being not comfortable with reading propaganda, we are going to start with stories: only when we learn of their unique lives and views of Hongkongers in advance, can we judge whether the working hours, salary, and even our understanding towards migrant workers are reasonable.

工餘讀書:如果能在家鄉找到工作……
Study beyond work: If we can find jobs in our hometown…

Dhika是一個很酷的女孩,利落的短髮,綁著白色頭巾在足球場圍圈而坐。(認識她的朋友說她是個活潑的人,但採訪時顯得有些緊張。)Dhika來香港工作將近五年,現在的工作是在何文田的家庭照顧兩位長者。她每天早上七點起床,不用準備早餐,但負責午餐和晚飯,和公公婆婆一起吃;其餘時間做清潔,陪公公婆婆。通常夜晚八點結束工作,公公婆婆會和她聊天,直到他們入睡(九點半左右)。

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Dhika is a cool girl with neat short hair, tying a white headscarf and sitting in a circle at the soccer field. (Her friend said she was lively, but while interviewing she seems a bit nervous. ) Dhika has been in Hong Kong for around five years, and is now working in Ho Man Tin to take care of two old people. Every day, she gets up at 7:00a.m., prepares lunch and dinner except the breakfast, and eats with grandma and grandpa. In the remaining time, she does cleaning and accompanies grandma and grandpa. She often finishes work at 8 o’clock at night, then grandma and grandpa would chat with her until they sleep (around 9:30p.m.).

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每逢星期日,除了與朋友在維園相聚,從下午一點到五點,她還在上環的Saint Mary’s University修讀管理業務( Buisness Management)。讀了兩年半的她,已準備畢業,然後有什麼打算?“印尼很多工人像我們一樣,都找不到工作;我想回去為他們提供工作。”說著,Dhika的眼神裡流露出對未來的憧憬。她每月的學費是$650,但每選修多一科,就要額外付$150。Dhika說自己也不記得修了多少科,總之不是一筆小數目。

Every Sundays, besides gathering with friends in Victoria Park, she takes the degree courses of Buisness Management in Saint Mary’s University in Sheung Wan from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Having studied for two years and a half, she is about to graduate. What’s the next plan? “In Indonesia, many workers like us cannot find jobs, so I hope to provide jobs for them when I go back.” Saying so, Dhika expressed her prospect towards the future. Her monthly tuition is $650, but additional $150 should be paid if she elects an extra course. Dhika forgot how many courses she has elected, but it won’t be a small number.

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她有一位香港朋友,是僱主(公公婆婆的女兒)的朋友。這位朋友有時會來家裡,和她聊工作以外的生活,溝通起來沒有什麼困難。她說香港朋友十分友善,樓下的保安也是她的朋友,有空會聊幾句;但也有香港人認為她們是工人,所以語氣不甚友好。談及香港的勞工團體,她並不認識;但了解到最低工資、規管工時的訴求,她說移工也面對著相同的問題,這也是她今天來遊行的原因:“我們不是機器,我們是工人。我們是一樣的,我們也是人。”

She has a Hong Kong friend, who is the Employer’s (grandma and grandpa’s daughter) friend. Her friend would come to the family sometimes, and chat with her other than work without any communication difficulties. She said HongKongers are nice, and even the security guard of the apartment is her friend as well; but there are also HongKongers who talk rudely to them, thinking they are only workers. Talking about local labour organizations, she was not familiar with them; but undertanding the demands for minimum wage and regulation on working hours, she said migrant workers are facing the same problem, which is why she joined the march today: “We are not robots, we are workers. We are the same. We are also human.”

香港與印尼的距離,只不過是我和你
Distance between Hong Kong and Indonesia, is just you and me

一位姊妹帶我們來到Sring面前。她是印尼家務工組織Indonesian Migrant Workers Union (IMWU)的主席,爽快地答應了我們的短訪。Sring來香港十五年,換過四個家庭,現在主要負責清潔,有時僱主工作回家也會叫她煮飯。每天八點起床,晚上大概十點結束工作,回房間做自己的事。撇去第一次來港的中介費一萬元,她每個月的電話費、交通費、食物加起來大概一千港幣,每月寄回印尼的家用也是一千左右。

A sister took us to Sring. She is the president of Indonesian Migrant Workers Union (IMWU), a

nd accepted our interview readily. Sring has been to Hong Kong for 15 years, changing four families, and is now responsible for cleaning, and sometimes cooking when required by the employer. She gets up at 8 a.m. every day, and finishes work at around 10 p.m., then she can do her own stuff in the room. Despite the agency fee of $10,000 she needs to pay upon first visit to Hong Kong, her monthly expenses on telephone fees, transportation and food is about $1,000, plus around $1,000 family expenses she sends back Indonesia every month.

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星期日Sring與姊妹們通常會在中央圖書館舉行教育訓練,教她們有關香港和印尼的勞工法例、僱傭合約細節;也有咨詢,鼓勵她們說出自己的處境。因為很多姊妹希望通過法例了解自己的權益,避免受欺壓,所以訓練的反應很好。

Sring usually holds educational training with sisters in Central Library on Sundays. The training includes Hong Kong and Indonesian labour legislations, employment contract, as well as consultation which encourages sisters to tell their plight. Since many sisters wish to know their rights through provisions to avoid deception and oppression, the training has a good response.

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Sring說會和香港的朋友聊不同的文化,如印尼人很能吃辣,在香港就一般般。她觀察到香港人經常講話很大聲,像在罵人,所以很多姊妹一開始會怕,不敢回答僱主的問題;僱主又很不解,為什麼她們不說話,有時還哭,由此造成誤解。所以她覺得最重要是能和香港朋友溝通,互相明白。她還提到僱主和工人的關係很疏離,究其原因是在香港,每個人很少關心鄰居,連照顧子女的責任也簡化為給錢上學等;科技太發達,沒有像印尼一樣的土地和農業,”大家不知道香蕉怎麼從樹上種出來,只懂吃。“

Sring said she would talk with Hong Kong friends about different cultures, like Indonesian can eat very spicy food, but HongKongers are not quite used to spice. She observes that HongKongers often speak loudly, which sounds like cursing, so many sisters would be scared to answer the employer’s questions in the beginning; then the employer is confused about why they don’t talk and even cry sometimes, creating misunderstandings. Therefore, she thinks the most important thing is to communicate with Hong Kong friends to reach mutual understanding. She mentioned the relationship between employers and workers is alienated. The ultimate reason is that in Hong Kong, people seldom care about neighbours, even the responsibility to take care of children is simplified as paying for schools etc. The technology here is so advanced that, unlike in Indonesia, there is land and agriculture, “people have no idea about how bananas come from the tree; they only know how to eat.”

談及本地勞工的困境,Sring說其實就算是本地中產,都面對著長工時等問題——不然他們也不會請家務工。但如果說本地工人和姊妹們一樣,那他們需要和僱主一起住嗎?Sring提到僱傭合約中強制工人與僱主同住的規定,有些人說是為姊妹們的安全著想,也怕她們在外面有小孩;但Sring直言:“有小孩可不是好玩的。”很多僱主說當工人是家庭成員,Sring問:“如果你當我哋係family member,點解唔可以放假?點解食嘢要企喺一邊?點解(家務)我做曬?”所以她認為比較恰當的關係是把彼此當朋友;如果只是僱主/工人,中間的夾縫就太大了。

Talked about the plight of local labours, Sring said actually even the local middle class are also facing problems like long working hours, or else they won’t have to recruit domestic helpers. However, if we say local workers are the same as sisters, do they need to live with their employers? Sring mentioned the compulsory live-in rule in the employment contract. Some people think it is for sisters’ safety, and worries that they would have babies outside; but Sring said frankly: “Having babies is not much fun.” Many employers say they regard workers as family members, but Sring asked, “If you regard us as family member, why can’t we have holidays? Why should we stand aside while eating? Why (the domestic work) should be done all by us?” So she thinks friendship is more appropriate–if the relationship is only employer/worker, the gap is too large.

記得我們問起對香港人的印象,Sring的第一句是:“他們尊重法律。”雖然有些僱主也不跟從法律,不過她明白很多時候他們都受中介公司慫恿,其實沒有僱主想對工人不好。她說香港人很團結,從雨傘運動就可以看出來。不過有意思的是,她反問我們,“你哋係未真係需要(普選)?”她解釋說,有一人一票固然好,但在印尼,總統候選人不是來自他們的社區,通常由“別人”挑選出來,所以不能算很民主。而且很多候選人為爭取選票才關心民生議題——這也是為什麼很多香港政黨不關注移工議題。Sring對香港議題的關心和分析,實在令我們佩服。

Remember that when we asked about the impression on HongKongers, Sring’s first comment was “They respect the law.” Although some employers do not follow the law, she understands that they are persuaded by the agency, in fact, no employers would like to mistreat workers. She said the solidarity of HongKongers is strong, which can be illustrated through Umbrella Movement. Interestingly, she asked us instead, “Do you really need (universal suffrage)?” She explained that ‘

one person one vote’ is certainly great, but in Indonesia, presidential candidates are not from their community; instead, they are picked up by ‘someone else’, so it is not that democratic at all. Moreover, many candidates only care about social livelihood for the votes, and that’s why many Hong Kong local political parties ignore migrant workers’ issues. Sring’s attention to and analysis of Hong Kong’s issues impressed us a lot.

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幫人,也是幫自己
Help others, help ourselves

我們在遊行隊伍裡找到了Fatmawati。身材矮小的她捧著一疊傳單,剛喊完一串與她身形不符、嘹亮堅定的口號。Fatmawati 2005年來香港,現在負責照顧家裡的老人家。每天早上7點鐘起床,開始買餸、洗衫,推公公婆婆出去散步。一般晚上10點可以休息,但有時公公婆婆凌晨兩三點肚餓,她便要起床煮給他們吃;或者他們睡不著起床看電視,她也要陪著,所以經常睡不夠。每三日要買一次餸,早午晚三餐包括湯,但僱主只給$150,所以每次都要計得清清楚楚。僱主不提供食物,她便每個禮拜去買印尼面、麵包或者咖啡。

We found Fatmawati in the march. She was holding a batch of handbills, yelling with a resonating and decisive voice, which seems incompatible with her short stature. Fatmawati came to Hong Kong in 2005, and is now taking care of the elderly. Every day, she wakes up at 7 a.m. and starts to buy food for the meals, do the laundry, and take grandma and grandpa to hang around in wheelchairs. Usually, she can rest at around 10 p.m., but sometimes grandma and grandpa would be hungry at 2-3 a.m., she has to get up to cook for them; or when they cannot fall asleep and watch TV instead, she has to be aside. So she often don’t get enough sleep. She buys food for breakfast, lunch and dinner including soup every three days, but each time her employer only gives her $150, so she has to calculate the expenses carefully. Since her employer does not provide food for her, she bought Indonesian noodles, bread and coffee every week.

作為印尼家務工組織Asosiasi Buruh Migran Indonesia di Hong Kong (ATKI-HK)的成員,Fatmawati每個星期日都在維園,幫姊妹解決難題,如被僱主“炒”等。一個禮拜只有一天休息,還要兼顧組織工作,不會太辛苦嗎?“辛苦都唔緊要,因為我覺得幫人都好嘅,可以幫手好開心。”Fatmawati腼腆地笑著。

As a member of Asosiasi Buruh Migran Indonesia di Hong Kong (ATKI-HK), Fatmawati stays in Victoria Park evey Sunday to help with sisters’ problems, such as being fired by employers and so on. Wouldn’t it be exhausting to take up organization work on the only rest day of the week? “It does not matter whether it’s exhausting, because I think it is good to help others, and I’m happy to help.” Fatmawati smiled shyly.

我們請她描述對香港人的看法, 因為平常沒有認識很多本地人,於是她從僱主說起。她覺得有些僱主比較好,但自己也有過不愉快的經驗。她的第一位僱主每月只給$2000人工,一次僱主冤枉她偷東西,她只好上門找勞工處。勞工處起初沒有什麼回應,但最後也罰了僱主一萬九千元;而Fatmawati也被迫在工作18個月後中止合約(按:一般合約期為兩年),在中介幫助下找了新僱主。說起這件事,她也感到很無奈:“我哋其實都唔想轉老闆,但如果老闆對我哋唔好,我哋仲要喺度住,做乜都唔啱啦……如果老闆對我哋好,我哋都會對佢好。”

We asked her to describe her opinions on HongKongers, she started with the employers since she knows few local people. She thought some employers were good, but she also had unpleasant experience. Her first employer only gave her a monthly salary of $2,000. The employer once wronged her of stealing, she could only find the Labour Department for help. At first, the Labour Department gave no response, but eventually it fined the employer for $19,000. However, Fatmawati was forced to terminate the contract after working for 18 months (Reporter’s note: a standard contract lasts for 2 years), and found a new employer with the help of the agency. Talking about this experience, she felt helpless, “Actually we are reluctant to change employers, but when bosses mistreat us, and we still have to live with them, and everything we do is wrong…if bosses are nice, we are sure to treat them the same way.”

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________________
[1] 為什麼我們不用一般慣用的『外傭』來稱呼這班來自印尼、菲律賓等不同國家的姐姐?我們認為,這種強調外與內的說法,對於同樣為這座城市發展貢獻的勞動人民來說,已經作出了根本性的排拒。

[2] Why don’t we use the common term “foreign domestic workers” to call those sisters who come from Indonesia, Philippines and other countries? We think concerning those who contribute the city in the same way as the local, such term specifiying “external/internal” has made a fundamental exclusion.

[3] https://grassmediaction.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/亞洲移住人士組織五一聲明/

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2 comments

  1. 引用通告: 不同種族家務工,是誰? who are migrant domestic workers? siapakah pekerja migran sektor domestik? | 自治八樓 autonomous 8a | 學聯社會運動資源中心 social movement resource centre, hkfs

  2. 引用通告: Siapakah pekerja migran sektor domestik(1)? | 草根.行動.媒體

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