Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Super Maid.....

From today's SCMP; have copied the articles verbatim as not everyone has access...

Maids lose jobs over Manila policy
Helpers delayed for HK work have contracts terminated

Several domestic helpers from the Philippines have had their jobs terminated even before they started work because their arrival in Hong Kong has been delayed by a new Manila policy aiming to create "super maids".
There are also almost daily complaints of women being held at Manila airport because they cannot show the training certificates required since December 16.

And in Hong Kong, at least one Filipino was terminated from her job after her boss heard of the policy requiring that helpers must be at least 25.

The incidents follow a Philippine policy reform enforced since last month that includes raising the minimum age of domestic helpers seeking work abroad from 21 to 25, raising their minimum wage to US$400, and requiring them to take a 23-day training course by the Philippine Technical Education and Skills Development Authority.

Dolores Balladares, chairwoman of United Filipinos in Hong Kong, said her group had been receiving complaints about the policy over the past few weeks.

The policy resulted in workers having to pay 10,000 pesos (HK$1,600) on the training course and certificates, the group said. "We have heard of workers being barred from going to Hong Kong because they did not have training certificates. Their contracts were terminated because they did not arrive in Hong Kong on the expected date," she said.

The group plans to hold a protest rally on Sunday from Central to the Philippine consulate in Admiralty.

One woman told Ms Balladares that her job was terminated earlier this month because she was 23. She was given one month's notice.

Cynthia Talamor, a volunteer with the Mission for Filipino Migrant Workers Society, said she was worried for her sister who was coming back to Hong Kong on a new contract. Her boss had given her a January 31 deadline.

"She was expected to come here on January 15. Her visa and papers were in order. But she could not leave because she was told she had to undergo training," she said. The sister speaks Cantonese and had worked in the city for six years.

"In the training courses, they use old models of home appliances when Hong Kong homes are hi-tech," Ms Talamor said.

"As for the language course, they not only are required to learn basic Cantonese but also Putonghua - in just three days."

Philippine labour attach? Bernardino Julve said that the training requirements were "mandatory only for new hires".

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Anonymous torn said...

Who benefits from this? Not the maids obviously and not the employers who have to pay a higher minimum wage for three days of Cantonese training.

And can the Philippine government specify a minimum wage in another country -- I don't think so.

If the idea is to raise the education level of balikbayans (so that they can secure more highly paid jobs and therefore send more money home) that is a reasonable goal, but I don't think these half-baked measures will do anything to achieve that. As usual an "initiative" sketched out on the back of a postage stamp is attempting to substitute for the investment in education and training needed to really upgrade the Philippine workforce.

4:53 pm  
Blogger Glenzo said...

I got stuck in a traffic jam caused by the protest. It was actually quiet big.

I figure that this another method for the Philippine government to impose an indirect tax on labor by requiring these training programs.

1:52 am  

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