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 Statement on International Women’s Day

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KAKAMMPI



Female Number of posts : 880
Registration date : 2008-01-06

PostSubject: Statement on International Women’s Day   Mon Mar 10, 2008 1:43 pm

RESTORE THE HK$3,860 MINIMUM WAGE FOR FDWs!
SCRAP THE “2-WEEK RULE” & NCS POLICY!
USE THE EMPLOYERS’ LEVY AS COMPENSATION FUND FOR FDWs!

DOMESTIC WORK IS WORK, NOT SLAVERY!
RESPECT THE RIGHTS, VALUE OF WORK & STATUS OF WOMEN IN SOCIETY!

Join the CMR Women’s Day Assembly, 9 March 2008 (Sunday), 10 AM - 6 PM, Chater Garden, Hong Kong!

In December 2007, to mark International Migrants’ Day, CMR and fellow advocates marched to the Central Government Offices and delivered the petition calling for the increase in 2008 of the minimum wage of foreign domestic workers (FDWs). As in past years, CMR called for the restoration of the HK$3,860 monthly minimum wage, which was our wage in 1998, before the first wage cut.

Today, March 8, on the occasion of International Women’s Day, CMR reiterates our call for the restoration of the HK$3,860 minimum wage for FDWs in Hong Kong!

After the second wage cut in 2003, the continued campaign by CMR and fellow advocates have resulted in 3 wage adjustments, bringing our wage to the present HK$3,480. But this is still below the 1998 wage level; until we recover the remaining HK$380, there is no real wage increase for FDWs.

Last month, the Budget Secretary announced Hong Kong’s biggest-ever budget surplus of HK$14.8 billion. Because of this, the government felt generous and announced a “give-away” 2008 budget, granting billions of dollars in financial benefits – like the removal of taxes for beer, alcoholic drinks and tobacco, the reduction and refund of salaries tax, and funding grants for health and arts development.

Unfortunately, again, the FDWs have been ignored in all these. Due to the economic difficulties of Hong Kong in 1998-2003, the FDWs were the first to be made to sacrifice through wage cuts/freezes; now that the HK economy is one of the strongest in the world, and with its enormous budget surplus, the value of the work and contribution of FDWs and women migrants in HK is ignored. It seems like cigarettes and beer are more important than working women and migrant domestic workers. Now, more than ever, HK needs to uplift the welfare and give proper recognition to the work of FDWs and women migrants.

Now, more than ever, we call on the HK government to:
Immediately restore the FDW minimum wage to HK$3,860!
Stop underpayment of FDWs! Almost half of all Indonesian and more than 60% of all Nepalese FDWs remain underpaid.
Stop excessive agency fees and severely punish recruiters who violate HK’s 10% limit on recruitment fees!
Use the employer’s levy as “compensation fund” to pay underpaid FDWs and victims of contract violations.
Scrap the 2-week rule and “new conditions of stay” policy. This discriminatory policy has been critised by 3 United Nations human rights committees and proves that HK’s treatment of FDWs is unjust and unfair.
We further call on the HK government to:
Remove the ban on the hiring of Nepalese migrant workers in HK!
Implement a minimum wage for local workers, including local domestic workers.
As we celebrate the 31st International Women’s Day, CMR calls on the HK government to respect the rights and dignity of women, and give proper recognition to the work and status of women in society. The ultimate measure of this is how HK treats the most marginalized and disadvantaged women in society, including the FDWs in HK. Domestic Work is Work, not Slavery!

Coalition for Migrants’ Rights (CMR): Indonesian Migrant Workers Union (IMWU), Filipino Domestic Helpers General Union (FDHGU), Far East Overseas Nepalese Association (FEONA), Association of Sri Lankans in Hong Kong (ASLHK), Indian Domestic Workers Association (IDWA), Thai Women’s Association (TWA), Asian Domestic Workers Union (ADWU), KOTKIHO (The Hong Kong Coalition of Indonesian Migrant Organisations) ● Asian Migrant Centre (AMC) ● Alliance of Progressive Labor (APL) ● Alliance for Wage Increase (ALLWIN) ● and other supporting organisations
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