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Hong Kong Domestic Workers General Union (HKDWGU)

Hong Kong Domestic Workers General Union (HKDWGU)

by Fish Ip published Apr 21, 2016 12:00 AM

HKDWGU is an affiliate of FADWU. It is organizing local domestic workers in Hong Kong who are mostly part-time or short-term contract workers with multiple employers.

HKDWGU was founded on 8 July 2001 by organizing effort of Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU). It is the first union organizing local domestic workers who are working in part-time and short-term contract base. Until now, the union is the most recognized and representative union for casual and informal workers. 

The union has successfully achieved:

  • Employers to buy labour insurance: Employers are obliged to buy labour insurance for workers according to Employees' Compensation Ordinance (Ch. 282) in Hong Kong. However, local domestic workers are casual workers. Employers did not feel they are employers. Private insurance companies also did not provide such insurance scheme for casual workers. With the advocacy effort of the union in 2000-05, nowadays all employers know that they need to buy labour insurance and insurance companies provide several insurance scheme one a year-base, even for one-time cleaning work. 
  • Standard contract and pre-paid salary for post-natal carers: Women employers in their time of pregnancy, they hire a post-natal carer who will work for a month after they give birth to babies. The work involves lots of women and traditional knowledge on taking care of babies and mothers, preparing herbal soups and meals. These workers are hired by employers usually at least five months before the labour day. HKDWGU has developed the Post-natal carers Standard Employment Contract which includes in pre-paid salary. If employers change their mind and dismiss the worker during the time worker is supposed to work, the pre-paid salary will be used as a compensation for the worker for the loss of job and income. Nowadays, this Post-natal Carers Standard employment Contract is commonly used. 
  • Standard Salary for domestic workers: Local domestic workers are usually women workers who are in weaker bargaining power to negotiate working conditions. Through massive public awareness activities, including leafleting on streets, public dramas and dance, media campaign, HKDWGU has successfully set its own standard wage for domestic workers and working-hour package for one-time home-cleaning. 

The current advocacy campaign of HKDWGU is:

  • Centralized Compensation Fund for occupational disease: Domestic workers have serious occupational disease, especially carpal tunnel syndrome, backache etc. However, they have multiple employers and it is practically impossible to be able to calculate how much compensation of each of their employers should pay. Therefore the Centralized Compensation Fund proposed is to push the government to establish a pool to centralize the insurance contribution by employers. The fund then can compensate to workers centrally instead of one by one by each of their employers;
  • Universal Pension Fund: Domestic workers are excluded by Mandatory Pension Fund Ordinance (MPF). The MPF is also weak in retirement protection. At the moment, domestic workers do not have any retirement protection. HKDWGU fights for Universal Pension Fund together with many other civil society groups in Hong Kong. 

Contact HKDWGU:
Website: http://hk-domesticworkers-general-union.blogspot.hk/
 Facebook: https://zh-hk.facebook.com/hkdwgu.hkctu/
 Tel: +852 2770 8668
Fax: +852 2770 7388
Email: babycarer_hkdwgu@hkctu.org.hk
Address: Address: 19/F, Wing Wong Commercial Building, 557-559 Nathen Road, Yau Ma Tei, Hong Kong. 

HKDWGU big clean promote