CATHOLIC NEWS OF THE WEEK . Sunday, 1 September 2019

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Protests no excuses for denial of migrants’ holidays

HONG KONG (SE): As protests against the now-suspended extradition bill have spread to wider districts during weekends, a migrant rights group has expressed its concern about employers denying workers’ holidays under the pretext of worrying about their workers’ safety in different areas. 
In a statement on August 28, the Filipino Migrant Workers Union said it respects the rights of Hong Kong people to defend their autonomy under the principle of One Country Two Systems. However, the group said it is afraid that some employers are taking advantage of the situation by preventing their foreign domestic workers from taking their weekly rest day.
It pointed out that employers should be reminded that not granting rest day in a week is a violation of the employment contract and punishable by law. 
The rights’ group added that for many foreign domestic workers, Hong Kong is a second home and they play an important role in the local economy. Recently, it has joined other migrant rights groups in a dialogue with representatives from the Labour Department’s consultation team on the minimum allowable wage and food allowance. 
Based on a study carried out by the Oxfam Hong Kong earlier, the groups are asking for a minimum wage of $5,894 and a monthly food allowance of $2,600, which they believe is the lowest amount required to meet the living standard wages. 
Apart from the living wage, the groups also reiterate the call for a 11-hours uninterrupted rest and meal breaks every day and urge the government to draw up in the migrant domestic worker’s employment contract a proper list of suitable accommodations that is humane, decent and in line with international labour standards.
The group call on workers to support and join a march organised by migrant rights groups on September 15 to submit these demands to the Hong Kong government.

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