Workers in Macao are demanding better conditions, saying that existing rules don’t safeguard workers’ interests
According to TDM, the Macau Federation of Workers’ Associations has met with the Labour Affairs Bureau to call for more annual leave and maternity leave. Ella Lei, a lawmaker and labour leader, said that the improvements were warranted, given Macao’s economic recovery.
Currently, labour laws in Macao stipulate that workers are entitled to six days of annual leave and 70 days of maternity leave.
The call for reforms comes in the wake of renewed demands from domestic workers for minimum wage protection. Nedie Taberdo Palcon of the Migrant Workers Union of the Philippines told TDM earlier this week that the plight of domestic workers had become “very difficult.”
Local authorities, Palcon said “never listened to us, never increased salaries or given domestic workers the minimum wage.”
Labour rights in Macao have come under international fire this year. In a report in March, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights said it was “concerned” that workers in Macao “are not adequately covered by labour and social protection laws.”
Meanwhile, the US State Department’s 2022 Country Report on Human Rights Practices in China accused Macao of interfering “in the functioning of workers’ organisations” and noted that the “government excludes persons with disabilities and domestic workers from the minimum wage law.”