Migrant Workers speak to Equal Opportunities Commission: The plight of migrant domestic workers during the COVID-19 pandemic
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, there has been more discrimination faced by domestic workers. The media reported a case of immediate dismissal of a Filipino migrant domestic worker who arrived in Hong Kong with the rejection of accommodation arrangement by her employer for her quarantine. We have received as well cases of disability discrimination with the reason of COVID-19. The cases are mainly immediate dismissals due to worries of COVID-19. Some are unreasonable work and hygiene demand imposed on the domestic workers, e.g. an Indonesian domestic worker is ordered to clean toilets 15 times a day. Many are rejected to go out or to have day-offs by employers with the reason that the workers will be infected with COVID-19 if they go out on their day-offs.
Hong Kong government's compulsory quarantine policy is chaotic Live-in policy increases risks of infection
The FADWU has also got an enquiry from an MDW member whose employer is returning to Hong Kong with the family. They will undergo compulsory home quarantine as required. She has to work under the same roof and take care of the kids. She will feed the kids and take care of their bath. Physical close contacts with them are unavoidable. Another MDW member complains that her employer is returning to Hong Kong. Her employer's baby did not travel abroad, and thus it needs not to be in quarantine. However, the employer who is the mother, the baby and the MDW will all stay at the same home and cannot avoid close contact. All these situations and care work increase the risk of infections. MDWs are also responsible for going out to buy food for the employing families. The pubic health is under threat of infections as well.
Trade unions front, the way to struggles: HKCTU statement on International Workers' Day 2020
From the early summer to the bitter winter of 2019, Hongkongers fought an unprecedented battle, reigniting the struggle against tyranny, which we called ‘the revolution of our times’.
After the Umbrella Movement, Hongkongers witnessed a low in the democratic movement, the vicious onslaught on Hong Kong’s democracy and rule of law by the Communist Party of China (CPC) and the disqualification of democratically elected legislators, the political-economic regime continues to suppress Hongkongers.
KCTU and HKCTU Release Joint Statement to Defend Labour Rights under COVID-19 Pandemic
The KCTU and HKCTU released a joint statement and put forward a ten-point demand to both the South Korean and Hong Kong governments for stronger safeguards in workers' rights under the COVID-19 pandemic.
A New Way Out for Hong Kong's Struggle? Interview with ‘Defiant Stewardess’ Ng Man Yee, Chairman of Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Union
On New Year's Day in 2020, the Civil Human Rights Front(CHRF) launched a demonstration entitled ‘Never forget, March Side by Side’, expressing the quest of the people of Hong Kong, which is, ‘five demands, all indispensable.’ CHRF notes that a total of 1.03 million people participated in the demonstration.
During the demonstration, the ‘Hong Kong on Strike’ and more than 40 unions set up street stands along the demonstration routes to recruit members and strengthen the organization of the struggle. However, at the beginning of the march, police barged into the stand of the Construction Site Workers' General Union outside the Southorn Playground in Wan Chai and arrested a volunteer of ‘Hong Kong on Strike’ for unknown reason. The riot police also fired pepper spray on other union members. According to ‘Stand News’, a police officer used a loudspeaker at the scene and stated that the police were investigating a case of possession of weapons. The unions issued a statement condemning the police for oppression.
Respect Rights to Freedom of Assembly Drop All Charges Against LEE Cheuk Yan Now
The General Secretary of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU), LEE Cheuk Yan, was arrested this morning (28/2/2020) on charges of “unlawful assembly”, he was later released on bail and pending court hearing on May 5. The HKCTU vehemently condemns the arrest, which we regard as a plot to further suppress Hong Kong citizens and workers’ rights to freedom of association, and we demand the Hong Kong Government to drop all charges against LEE and others who are criminally prosecuted due to political reasons.
Cathay Pacific, is it a victim of White Terror or a perpetrator?
In the past 4 months, anti-extradition law protestors in Hong Kong have proven to the world that they are persistent and firm with their demands. Protesters from different walks of life, sectors took part in assemblies, writing campaigns and strikes. Despite police brutality, they continue to voice out loudly. The Hong Kong Government, instead of listening to the people, deploys various vicious measures, hoping to silence the people. Beijing, "the black hand behind all these chaos", continues to believe money is the solution and threatens Hong Kong workers with layoffs. Employees in the aviation sector are among those most retaliated ones.
Protecting pregnant contractual employees, demanding Law Chi Kwong to close legal loopholes
It is clearly stated in the labour legislation Hong Kong that, once a pregnant employee has given notice, dismissal of the said employee is unreasonable and unlawful. According the labour legislation, employers unreasonably and unlawfully dismissing pregnant employers may be subjected to compensation up to $150000. Legislation in Hong Kong, however, does not specifically equate contract termination with contract expiration without renewal. Given such, employees whose contract expired without renewal cannot recover their losses by filing claims in accordance to the labour legislation in Hong Kong. Whilst extending statutory maternity leave to 14 weeks, it is the responsibility of the government to simultaneously close all loopholes in the labour legislation that left contractual employees unprotected. Failing to close these loopholes will give employers full power in discontinuing the renewal of contracts of pregnant employers, in turn making women childbearing age as contractual employees vulnerable in the workplace.
Surviving is Not Living: Defending the Dignity of Workers with Living Wage
Living wage refers to the ability of a worker to provide a decent standard of living to his/her family, including proper and nutritional food, reasonable living spaces, protecting basic education needs and medical expenses. Although the minimum wage was implemented in 2011, the minimum wage rates in Hong Kong proved to be insufficient in supporting the livelihood of individuals. In response, The Oxfam published the Hong Kong Living Wage Report. Based on a full-time employee working 26 full-days per month, 8 hours per day, the report calculates the living wage of Hong Kong to $54.7