Domestic workers in Hong Kong joined the July 1 rally on Sunday. Photo: Facebook/AMCB

About 100 domestic workers rallied in Hong Kong on Sunday to demand a salary increase and mandated rest hours. The Asia Migrants’ Coordinating Body (AMCB) joined the annual July 1 pro-democracy rally, demanding a pay rise to HK$5,500 (US$701) from the present HK$4,410 per month.

They also called for the standard employment contract to be amended to include a provision for 11 hours of uninterrupted rest, the Apple Daily reported.

Group spokesperson Eman Villanueva said a survey showed that about 500 workers in the city were living in unsuitable accommodation, with things like poor toilets and kitchens, and added that the group demanded the government list unsuitable accommodation on employment contracts.

Annebelle, who has been working in Hong Kong since 1998, said she joined the rally almost every year, calling for the government to raise workers’ minimum wages.

Law Chi-kwong, the secretary for Labour and Welfare, said on his blog that the number of domestic workers in the city will increase to 600,000 in 30 years, accounting for 15% of the total labor force by then, and it was the government’s responsibility to better protect workers’ rights and welfare, Wen Wei Po reported.

Law said the government will increase resources to monitor and check the operation of employment agencies. A 24-hour hotline with interpretation services would be launched this year for domestic workers to call if they have any questions about their rights or other enquiries, he said.

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