Senin, 28 Juli 2008

“No exclusion on suspension”

Thousands of foreign maids rally for blanket coverage of levy suspension
“All of the 230,000 foreign domestic workers are affected by the levy now. There should be no exclusion on suspension.”

This was declared today by Eni Lestari, spokesperson of the Asian Migrants Coordinating Body or AMCB as more than a thousand foreign helpers marched from Chater Road to the Central Government office to reiterate their demand for the levy suspension to cover all contracts – ongoing and the new ones.

“We are highly-concerned of our job security and such worry is justified. Employers who want to immediately avail of the suspension have already expressed intention of terminating ongoing contracts and only the fact that no final decision has been taken by the HK government stops them from pushing it through. There is no just cause for this exclusion,” she added.

Lestari also hit the Hong Kong government for dilly-dallying on its final decision as to the design of the suspension plan. Early this week, the AMCB made a submission to the HK Executive Council calling for the suspension of the levy for all FDW contracts.

“The lack of response from the HK government on the danger of massive termination it is set to open is killing us. Labour and welfare secretary Matthew Cheung’s recommendation of an August 1 implementation only increases our fear of losing our jobs soon,” she remarked,

Lestari reported that already, employers have withdrawn applications for new employees or have deferred the issuance of visas for new helpers.

“Our fellow workers are already facing uncertainties to their employment. Levy suspension that does not cover all now is a disaster waiting to happen. And the disaster is on us foreign helpers,” she stated.

The group said that they will sustain their protest actions until their demand of a suspension for all is met. Lestari relayed that they are also seeking the support of local organizations, legislators, and trade unions in their campaign.

“We will accept no less than a blanket suspension of the levy for it is our livelihood and rights that are at stake,” she concluded.#

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