Arch contractor deprives workers of agreed wages

Yet another complaint has arisen from workers at the Windsor Arch construction site as a dozen workers went to the Labour Affairs Bureau (DSAL) yesterday afternoon demanding action against the company for unpaid salaries. Around 40 non-resident construction workers haven’t received wages since the beginning of this year and, while a meeting was scheduled with the contractor to discuss the issue yesterday afternoon, around 20 workers found out that their working permits, also known as blue cards, had been terminated and the workers couldn’t even enter the SAR, according to Kong Hin Man, Office Chief of the Macao Construction Industry General Union, who is helping the workers conduct their case. “Some of them started working at the site since 2012, some joined this year. While the contracts they signed said they would receive monthly payment of MOP15,000 or MOP16,000, they have only received RMB200 to RMB300 per day for the days they have worked. The workers received the payments in cash at their place of residence in Zhuhai up until January, when the payments stopped coming. They haven’t been paid for these four months [from January to April] for work,” said Mr. Kong. Ongoing saga According to the labour union, construction work still continues at the Windsor Arch site despite the labour disputes going on for months. In May of last year, a group of workers staged protests and petitioned Government Headquarters and the Chinese Liaison Office demanding compensation for overtime and rental subsidies from the contractor. “They [the workers] have been receiving unfair treatment. And it’s illegal that their wages are calculated on a daily basis, instead of the monthly payment written in their contract and through bank transfer,” the Director-general of Macau Gaming Enterprises Staff Association, Choi Kam Fu, who also helps the workers report such incidents, told reporters after the meeting with the DSAL. “Now is a time when the Foreign Labour Law is under review and the authorities need to give more importance to these kinds of issues. We want all workers to have rights, including these non-resident workers’ right to be protected properly,” he added. “The DSAL representatives said they would look into the case. ” Business Daily contacted project developer Victory Real Estate Development and contractor Great Harvest Group but received no reply by the time the story went to press. The entire Windsor Arch project, comprising 10 blocks and occupying some 18,530 square metres (199,455 square feet), was originally slated to be completed and ready for occupation in 2010. The 10 blocks, each 47 storeys tall, offer 857 units and 1,800 parking spaces.