Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island
Photo: Google Maps
Causeway Bay, Hong Kong Island Photo: Google Maps

A 54-year-old Vietnamese woman climbed onto scaffolding attached to a high-rise building in Causeway Bay on Hong Kong Island in protest against alleged unpaid wages on Monday.

At noon, police received a report that a woman had threatened to jump from the roof of 28-storey Elizabeth House on Gloucester Road because, she claimed, a construction contractor had not paid her wages, Apple Daily reported.

The woman was seen sitting high up on the scaffolding.

After firefighters and police negotiators failed to persuade her to return to the building, firefighters set out a rescue air cushion on the ground below.

The woman, surnamed Chan, reportedly worked as a plasterer. She and three colleagues of Vietnamese origins were demanding unpaid wages totalling HK$110,000 (US$14,065).

The woman stayed on the scaffolding on the 28th floor for 24 hours. It was reported that she did not drink or eat for the whole night.

The standoff finally ended at around noon on Tuesday after it was reported that the workers had received HK$30,000 in unpaid wages.

The construction company’s person in charge, surnamed Law, denied the accusation, saying that Chan had only finished half of the renovation work she was responsible for.

The workers were said to be unable to read and write, and relied on company staff to read the details of their contracts before signing off on them. They said they did not understand the contract clauses.