Survey on the outsourced Nepalese cleaning workers 政府外判制少數族裔清潔工人處境 調查報告

2017 年 10 月 23 日

Survey on the outsourced Nepalese cleaning workers

By CLEANING WORKERS UNION

 

Taking up one of the least paid and recognized jobs in Hong Kong, cleaning workers are placed at the lowest social stratum. Among all the EM, Nepalese has become the most vulnerable group of people working due to their lower education. The low-wage condition, exploitation and the over-time work has become a raising concern. Therefore, Cleaning Workers Union has conducted a survey on the working conditions of the EM cleaning worker. The purpose of the survey is to explore whether the statutory minimum wage is enough or not.

This survey has been conducted from August to September, 2017 and 80 Nepalese cleaning workers have been interviewed, working in 5 different districts. The result of the survey indicates that majority of them are of middle age group and are above 60 years old. Almost all the workers have no idea about what their rights like schemes due to the language barrier. According to the survey the ethnic minorities cleaning workers had to share some of the problems they are going through while some others were noticed to be a problem after the union visited them.

Housing has become a major concern among the workers. The monthly rent is usually $6,000-11,000 for small flats and for big flats is about $12,000-$13,000. These problems bring to the concern that the workers are spending most of their salary to pay for the rent. Most of the workers are of the mid-aged group and are certain to face the hard-life due to the family size. Usually the family size of the workers is 4-5 in a Nepali household.

The survey indicates that, majority of the interviewed workers have two jobs, working over 12 hrs a day. Most of the workers had to say that they do not have enough wage to support their family with one job; therefore to support their family they sacrifice their rest day and work part time job. No wonder many of them choose to work instead of taking an annual leave, so they get a little more wage.

Besides the above major problems, the other causes are low education, not only in academic wise but also in the language barrier. The reasons for workers not voicing about the wage increase is because of the fear of being terminated from their work and also the worries of not being able to get to work anywhere. Since the ethnic minorities cleaning workers have been facing this situation from the start, they feel very inferior to voice out. Most of the workers are new to the idea of voicing out itself, therefore having no experience; they feel no confident to come forward for a better change towards the low-wage job.

In view of the wage problems faced by the ethnic minorities cleaning workers, we recommend the following policy to be made:

1. Increase Minimum Wage Level
Reviewing the SMW rate yearly could provide further adequate wage protection for these vulnerable employees, who are more prone to exploitation. The pay rise must be higher to reflect the growing needs of workers.

2. Implement Living Wage
Living Wage concept should be implemented for all workers since EM workers are urged to take 2 jobs

3. Provide different language/Bilingual language on all documents
EM workers not majority but as fair and equal opportunities, the government should urge the subcontractor provide different language document, especially the contract, the regulation and the wage slip.

4.Inspection of the monitoring system of the sub-contracting companies
We urge the Government to carefully inspect the monitoring system of the sub-contracting companies and also increase the penalty to the companies that contravene the law.

 

 

 

 

 

政府外判制少數族裔清潔工人處境

調查報告

 

香港政府是外判清潔工人最大的僱主,有外判清潔服務的部門包括食物環境衛生署、房屋署、及康文署﹔幾個部門外判所聘請的清潔工人,大約有12,200,佔整個政府的90%。據本會(清潔工人職工會) 所探的區域的統計,尼泊爾裔清潔工大約400人。

少數族裔清潔工主要是尼泊爾裔,其次是泰國及印尼裔。泰裔和印裔的工友雖然不會寫或看中文,但因為一般能講,所以,在溝通上問題相對少。工會在探訪清潔工友後,見到尼泊爾工友所面對的問題很多,除了語言障礙、還有是他們得不到應有權益。所以,工會展開了對少數族裔工友處境的調查。

綜合調查,尼泊爾工友面對的問題包括︰

1  工作年資

清潔工友在清潔行業不少是超過十年,但公司投標問題,以至工友即使長期在同一區域工作,但年資都被中斷,得不到長期工作的長期服務金、年假及累積病假。這種情況是所有外判清潔工人共同面對的不利處境。

2      最低工資不足應付生活開支

統計數據顯示現時外判清潔工人都只是得到最低工資水平。但每兩年才檢討一次及作出調整的做法,只能每次加兩元,並不能足夠工人應付生活開支

3      多一份工作/兼職

在現時清潔工作以外有另一份工作。這並不尋常,因為清潔工作是勞動強度大的工種

4      為何多一份工作/兼職?

找兩份的原因中,選項超過90%的都是因為錢不夠使用的原因。包括一份工的工資不夠用、日常開支大、租金太貴等原因。另外也要應付家庭的保險、學校開支等,

5      兩份工作的工資和工時

多找一份工作,增加了的收入,大約超過12,000元,連同家人工資就超出了申請低收入家庭津貼及交通津貼的入息限額。兩份工作共約12小時,而因清潔是勞動的工作,長工時使工人容易勞損、或容易意外弄傷

6      同住家庭成員要照顧

尼泊爾工友多為中年婦女,肯定要面對雙職責任。家庭成員多責任也增加。

7       其他歧視及不公平

對尼泊爾工友來,時常面對不同程度的威脅及不公義。最嚴重的是每年回尼泊爾年假後,要重新簽約斷了年資。

其次是所有尼泊爾工友都面對語言障礙問題,而不論政府外判或公司文件,都是中文版本的。以至工人容易受騙而又不懂追討。

 

政策建議︰

  1. 提高最低工資水平及進行每年檢討
  2. 在外判制先引入”生活工資”計法作為投標指引,以起示範作用
  3. 聘任少數族裔工友的外判公司及政府應提供相關語言的文件,尤其標準合約及聘任條件
  4. 加強監管外判公司,對剋扣工人福利的公司應加強罰則

 
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