24 August 2015, Macau Daily Times

Foreign domestic helpers rallied yesterday during a press conference to urge for strengthened regulation of local employment agencies. The maids slammed some of the intermediaries for financially exploiting them upon their arrival in the territory.

Ayu Sri Wahyuni and Erik, from the Peduli Buruh Migrant Indonesian Concern Group, disclosed that most their fellows were subjected to unreasonable confiscation of their identification documents and ATM cards by their agents. Besides, the pair also condemned the overcharging of agency fees that could reach as high as MOP25,000, to be taken from their meager salaries every month.

Jasmine Santos, another Filipino maid from the Progressive Labour Union, also expressed her dissatisfaction that other domestic helpers from her country experienced similar ordeals where half their wages for the first three months were taken by agents, who withheld either their blue cards or passports.

“So it means if your salary is MOP4,000, you will give MOP2,000 for the three months; this is ludicrous,” said Santos. “They’ll take a lot of money, you won’t hired for a very long time. From the very beginning, the agency abused us already to work and [took] the money, and our strength.”

Describing the upcoming anti-maid rally to be held this coming Sunday as “saddening,” the trio reckoned that conflicts between employers and domestic helpers usually stemmed from miscommunication, which required understanding from each other.



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