Hotel workers call for recognition of their efforts during COVID-19
- By: Janice LoEdited by: Jasmine Tse
Local hotel workers are demanding a one-off subsidy in recognition of their contribution in fighting the Covid-19 pandemic. They also want priority in vaccination because of the risks they have to take.
The Hong Kong Housekeeping Employers Association and Hotels, Food & Beverage Employees Association said in a press conference today that the government should provide a one-off subsidy of $3,000 for each worker. They urged the government to increase the capacity of banquets from 20 to 80 people and set up an Emergency Relief Fund for hotel workers who lost their jobs.
“Housekeepers have to put on personal protective equipment when cleaning the rooms used for quarantine. But the equipment limits their movements, and cleaning time has increased from 30 minutes to almost two hours,” said Hector Ngai Chee-keung, the membership affairs officer of the Hong Kong Housekeeping Employers Association.
He said housekeepers now have an increased workload because of strict hygiene standards for both staycation and quarantine guests. “Housekeepers need one to one-and-a-half hours to clean each room because they find red wine stains on carpet, rotten fruit and peanuts shells in the rooms,” said Mr Ngai.
By providing a one-off subsidy of $3,000 for each worker, Mr Ngai said it could reward those who have maintained professionalism amid the pandemic.
Nerine Yip Lau-ching, Secretary-general of the Hotels, Food & Beverage Employees Association said that it is crucial for hotel workers to get vaccinated first because they face a high risk of catching COVID-19 when serving food.
“By allowing us to have a higher priority for vaccination and encouraging the public to get vaccinated, it could prevent a fifth wave of the pandemic from hitting Hong Kong,” added Cheung Tsz-yeung, director of the Hotels, Food & Beverage Employees Association.
Food and Health Secretary Sophia Chan Shiu-chee announced today that starting from February 18, catering services can provide dine-in services until 10 pm and the maximum capacity per table will be increased from two to four people.
In light of this, Vice Chairman of the Hotels, Food & Beverage Employees Association Chak Ping-fai suggested the government raise the limit of banquet participants to up to 80 people in order to avoid laying off workers.
《The Young Reporter》
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