Migrant and local women workers need to unite and fight the unjust system
Adam N Lee Socialist Action
Hong Kong’s 380,000 migrant domestic worke
A new survey from Chinese University reveals how much still needs to be changed in 2019. Over seventy percent of migrant domestic workers
The live-in rule, which forces migrant domestic worker
Migrant organisations have for years campaigned for the abolition of the live-in rule, which was first introduced in 2003 as a mechanism of social control, to prevent migrants establishing a stronger position in the local economy and in this way limits their bargaining power as workers. Breaking the rule can lead to various penalties ranging from cancellation of a work permit to criminal prosecution and 14 years’ imprisonment.
Shockingly low wage
Perhaps the most shocking finding in the CUHK survey concerns average pay levels, which in 2017 were HK$4,277 per month – below the minimum wage for migrants, which was HK$4,310 at that time (since raised by HK$100).
This raw exploitation of migrant domestic workers is the other side of the coin of the government’s refusal to invest in public services like elderly and childcare, starving these sectors of finance while showering money on the property tycoons and other capitalists. There are dozens of reasons why migrant and local women workers need to unite and fight this unjust system, being sure to use International Women’s Day as the next rallying point for this struggle.