lørdag 6. juli 2019

Why Are Migrant Workers Joining the Hong Kong Protests?

The current wave of demonstrations by Hong Kongers against the proposed extradition bill has drawn in people from all walks of life. Media has shone spotlights on the youth, parents, first-time protesters, and other sections of civil society for their creativity and determination.

However, one section has gone quietly under the radar despite their solidarity with the movement in the street. Migrant workers have actively and consistently participated since the beginning of the protests, although most have preferred their involvement to be low-key. Many fear the repercussions, concerned about a backlash from employers who may not be too fond of their domestic help choosing activism over house work, despite the #NoExtraditionToChina campaign being widely popular among locals.

Numbering more than 380,000 in Hong Kong, migrant workers have developed quite a vibrant social movement of their own. Last year, the Hong Kong government raised basic pay by 2.5 percent, an initial victory for the workers who have campaigned for improved wages. They continue to pushed for further wage increase to $641 per month.