Hundreds of domestic workers marched in Hong Kong on Sunday to demand the government increase the monthly wage for their 354,000 fellow workers by 24.6% to HK$5,500 (US$700).
Up to 300 domestic workers from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Nepal and Sir Lanka gathered at Statue Square in Central on Hong Kong Island and marched to government headquarters in Admiralty to demand an increase of their monthly wages as well as a food allowance, the Oriental Daily reported.
The workers wore red T-shirts, held banners chanted “we are workers, we are not slaves” along the way.
The Asian Migrants’ Coordinating Body (AMCB) proposed a 24.6% pay rise for the minimum allowed wage to HK$5,500 a month and lifting the food allowance from HK$1,053 to HK$2,500.
The group also proposed the government include 11 hours of rest per day with meal times for domestic workers, as well as clean and comfortable accommodation. These items should be included on the employment contract, they said.
The organization collected 18,000 signatures from domestic workers and sent it to government representatives.
Spokesperson Sringatin said she was not satisfied with conditions for domestic workers in Hong Kong. She said some do not get enough rest. She added that some employers wake their maids at midnight and ask them to do the housework, while some sleep in kitchens or corridors.
Sringatin described the living standard in Hong Kong as too high and said a monthly wage of HK$5,500 was only a living wage.
By the end of September, the government will announce the yearly assessment of the minimum allowable wage for domestic workers in Hong Kong.