Migrant domestic workers launch signature drive for 11 hours of uninterrupted rest
An alliance of migrant domestic workers (MDWs) in Hong Kong yesterday (June 10) launched a petition drive to convince the government to allow them to have 11 hours of uninterrupted rest.
The Asian Migrants Coordinating Body-International Migrants Alliance (AMCB-IMA) said they aim to gather 35,000 signatures—equivalent to 10 percent of the 350,000 migrant domestic workers in HK—to convince the government to amend the standard employment contract for MDWs.
“We want the government to indicate in our contract that we must have 11 hours of uninterrupted rest in between two consecutive work days, aside from meal times. We also want the HK government to state what exactly is unsuitable accommodation,” said Sringatin, AMCB spokesperson.
“Right off the top of my head, this would include the toilet kitchen, cupboards, corridors,” she added.
The signature drive is part of the AMCB’s 3Ws campaign, pushing for a wage increase, working hours, and workers rights.
“If the HK government is sincere in improving the working conditions of migrant domestic workers, they can start with this one,” said AMCB spokesperson Dolores Balladares Pelaez.
“Aside from indicating these in the contract, they must also introduce a complaint mechanism for MDWs and penalties for violators,” she added.
According to Balladares, the labor and human rights of MDWs in Hong Kong are “subpar with international standards.”
“The HK government must start treating us as workers, not slaves,” Sringatin said.
It is high time that the HK government ensure we have proper rest, as we take care of the HK households. Ensuring we have proper rest means safer homes,” she added.
The signature drive is also part of a series of mass actions AMCB-IMA will organize or participate in this year, including Domestic Workers Day on June 14 and the international Migrants Day in December.