FDH forced to clean 19th-floor window in Repulse Bay

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Screenshot of Mier cleaning the window

Bay has accused her female employer of forcing her to clean the window of their 19th-floor flat from the outside, although she was feeling sick and “so dizzy.”

Fearing for her life, the worker took a video of her cleaning the window, just in case something happened to her.

Assistant Labor Attache Antonio R. Villafuerte said Nerie R. Mier filed a case at the Labour Tribunal against her employer, G. Ip, after his wife allegedly forced the helper to clean the window of

their flat from the outside, a violation of her contract.

Hong Kong in 2017 banned the practice of foreign domestic workers cleaning the windows of high-rise apartments from the outside.

“So, this is the implementation. This is the test case and the first case (since the ban),” Villafuerte said.

Mier arrived in Hong Kong on February 10, 2018 to work for her employers at the Parkview housing estate in Repulse Bay.

“Her fellow Filipino worker taught her how to clean the window. After that, she was the one who did that job,” Villafuerte said.

In her affidavit, Mier said she was afraid to do it but could not refuse because she might lose her job.

“I (had) no choice because I (was) still new and I (was) afraid that I will be terminated that early,” she said.

At around 5:30 p.m. on February 19, her female employer allegedly told her to clean the window, “opposite the dining table,” from the outside.

“I told her (I would) clean it later because it (was) very humid outside at that time (but) she insisted…because her husband wants it to be clean,” Mier said.

The following day, her female employer again allegedly told her to clean the window “opposite the boys’ study room” although Mier was not feeling well.

“I (was) afraid so I resisted…because I (was) not feeling well and felt so dizzy. I told her of my feeling but she insisted,” Mier said.

“Because of her insistence, I decided to take a video of my cleaning so that, in case something happens to me, at least my family would know what really happened,” she added.

Mier said she later sent the video on her phone to her husband, who sent it to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), which reported the case to the Labour Department. Her employer terminated her contract on February 26, Villafuerte said.

“There should be no more window cleaning (from the outside for FDHs),” Villafuerte said.

He said Mier’s male employer did not attend the last hearing at the Labour Tribunal and so the case was adjourned to June 21.