Their May Day Wishes
International Labour Day is an important day for all professional. Since the May Day is a day to ommemorate the victory of labour claiming their rights. As foreign domestic workers we have to come out not only celebrating but also taking this occasion to demand for change and better life. We call for the Hong Kong government to implement the workers' rights and benefits. We express in the participation as domestic workers as work.
May Day Wishes of South-Asian Construction Workers in Hong Kong
Improving the air quality of the tunnel construction site
The South-Asian construction workers want improvements in the quality of air that inside the tunnels under construction. The quality of air in the tunnel construction sites is very poor, the construction workers would breathe in a lot of ash and dust which is harmful to their respiratory system and cause sick frequently. Even though they change their masks every two working hours, they’re still full of dust and gasp when they come out from tunnels. It is unfair that the management works comfortably with air conditioners at office while they’re suffering under the tunnels.
Standard working hours with a living wage
Another wish of them is to have standard working hours with a living wage that overtime working is not necessary. They are at the position of rigger and are earning around 400 dollars for every 9 hours’ work. They always need to work overtime in order to support their family, which have more than 2 children normally.
Opposing import of foreign workers
In addition, they also urge that increase in wages can attract more people to join the industry. The workforce can thus increase so that no migrant workers have to be recruited. They said that the recruitment of migrant workers would just increase theprofit of their boss as the company can pay fewer wage further.
May Day wishes of Cathay Pacific Airways Flight Attendants Union
Standard working hours
I hope that the company will consultant the union for employee matters especially the working hours. Although there is a rule to regulate the working hours for flight attendants on the plane, the company has required many of our colleagues to stand by at home or at the airport for a long time that was not regulated by the rule. Some of our colleagues are required to take these stand by working hours for more than half a month. It is a kind of invisible pressure on the flight attendants and very inconvenient as they do not know what to prepare without clear notice of which flight they will be on duty. We really hope that the company should be considerate in arranging the duty roster and working hours.
Housing allowances for expats
Originally, the company provided housing allowance for expats when they worked in Hong Kong but they changed the policy in 2008 that the allowance is expected to be discontinued in 8 years. It will have big impact on the employees as it is very hard for them to cope with the high living cost in Hong Kong. It was really unfair to them.
The reason for joining May Day Rally
The legal protection for labour rights in Hong Kong is still very inadequate. For instances, we don’t have right to collective bargaining and no standard working hours. Moreover, I think we should have a legal retirement age so that the employers cannot force us to take early retirement. The Dragonair which is a sister airline of Cathay force the flight attendants to retire at their 45 that is unreasonable. Actually people at 40s are still very fit and it is a waste of human resource. Law and policy reform require greater powers from the labour movement, Julian agreed that the power came from solidarity among all workers.