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nakatago
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Postby nakatago » Thu, 04 Aug 2011 10:24 am

x9200 wrote:
nakatago wrote:* Maids are for general household maintenance and help.
* If a household needs to take care of an indisposed family member, a caregiver is needed, not a maid.
* If a child needs to be taken care of, a nanny is needed, not a maid

Why do you think so? Just because they are called "maids"? And if you call them FDH? They are what the agreed and claim they are. If they are trained and fine with the nanny or caregiver job and this is clearly explained to them at the moment of hiring then they are also the nannies and the caregivers. You suggest this is some kind of incredible burden they are brutally enforced to accept on their shoulders but the basic fact is that this is just a set of skills the maids themselves emphasise in their resumes. They are just employees and the employees have different skills.
I think you, and many people before are barking up the wrong tree. The problem is not with the job scope, but whether the maids are treated fairly. They can do just the basic household chores and be treated like a dog. They can be nannies, caregivers, dog walker and be treated with fairness and dignity.


All I'm saying is in the general sense, maids are for that. If they have those extra skills, then good for them. In the context of that argument that a maid is hired for that purpose, then maybe they don't need a maid but rather a nanny or caregiver. If the maid agrees to do some of those jobs but aren't really qualified for them, the employer shouldn't expect the same results they would from a professional. Again on the flipside, one being a maid does not exclude them from qualifying as nannies or caregivers. Skills need not be mutually exclusive. I admit I didn't elaborate or clarify it fully but like I said, it was in the context of the previous posts. If one needs to take care of disabled family member, maybe they're looking for a caregiver, not a maid.

Moreover, I did say maids are entitled to basic human decency.

We're on the same side of the argument here.

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 04 Aug 2011 10:44 am

Again, for me "maid" is just a word not necessarily reflecting the perceived in a particular society set of duties. In Singapore the maids are also very frequently the nannies and babysitters and I really think there is nothing wrong in it as long as everything is clear from the start or even better put to the contract.
Unfortunately it is a bit a vicious circle. I would be more happy to hire full time nanny (at a reasonable price) rather than have a maid doing this job. But the reality is such that the market of the maids killed the marked of the nannies.
Yes, we are at the same side of the barricade, but I simply think the problem should be emphasized a bit differently as this is mostly related to the abuse not the job character.

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 04 Aug 2011 10:47 am

x9200 wrote:Again, for me "maid" is just a word not necessarily reflecting the perceived in a particular society set of duties. In Singapore the maids are also very frequently the nannies and babysitters and I really think there is nothing wrong in it as long as everything is clear from the start or even better put to the contract.
Unfortunately it is a bit a vicious circle. I would be more happy to hire full time nanny (at a reasonable price) rather than have a maid doing this job. But the reality is such that the market of the maids killed the marked of the nannies.
Yes, we are at the same side of the barricade, but I simply think the problem should be emphasized a bit differently as this is mostly related to the abuse not the job character.


I was just addressing a specific point.

But yes, problem here in Singapore is the abuse and I think most of us agree on that. I guess the argument got a bit too specific.

There seems to be a problem with the leveling of expectations here, not just with maids--even with professionals. But especially with maids. For some reason, a lot of these employers expect their employees to be on call 24/7 without paying for extra.

And these people, aside from the much maligned and much stereotyped false sense of entitlement that they have, think that just because they sign the paychecks, they also think they control their lives as well.

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Postby x9200 » Thu, 04 Aug 2011 11:03 am

In the case of the maids it is much more severe as the local culture clearly tells, you are what you are paid.

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Postby nakatago » Thu, 04 Aug 2011 11:08 am

x9200 wrote:In the case of the maids it is much more severe as the local culture clearly tells, you are what you are paid.


I'd like to rage and shake my fist further but I think I like keeping my composure more at this point.

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Postby boffenl » Thu, 04 Aug 2011 11:29 am

I'd like to rage a bit more too, but enough is enough. We can't change the minds of those who feel maids do not deserve a day off, so I'm going to stop trying--at least on this thread.

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Postby Tigerslayer » Thu, 04 Aug 2011 9:03 pm

I really wonder how many maids will thank you when they get their day off each week enforced by law and find their earning potential cut by a seventh.

I then wonder how many families (regardless of how you twist it to exaggerated work loads) thank you for enforcing a day off that the maid wants to work on and can't when they really need the help.

Like x9200 says it is the maids who advertise their skill set and if it is understood at the time the contract is signed and the terms are clear who is to argue?

People just like fighting moral wars on a basic set of one size fits all principles without really considering the wider impact. What's good about being the hero that nobody wanted?

I'm all against abuse but changing an institution from the outside looking in is ridiculous...

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 04 Aug 2011 10:09 pm

Tigerslayer wrote:
I'm all against abuse but changing an institution from the outside looking in is ridiculous...


Obviously, if it's going to get changed, it's going to HAVE to be changed that way, harder I grant you, but the abusers who hire the FDW's are about to implement it are they? And, I'm not sure you realize it, but "local" maid DO NOT work to the same standards as they earn considerably more and will not work 7 days a week nor 12 hours a day. So that kinda shows that it's the hirers that are to blame, taking advantage of the poor as they know they can't really do a damned thing about it except go back home and let their families either starve or not get a foot up in life. They come here because they are between a rock & a hard place. In fact, Singapore is the LAST choice as an employment destination because of the slavery like employment conditions and abuse they receive here.

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Postby Tigerslayer » Thu, 04 Aug 2011 10:16 pm

I personally believe that what is required is to ensure that maids are not being coerced into contracts they don't want to begin with.

Better regulation of agencies and proper follow up to ensure the maid is being looked after properly to the terms of the agreement will be far more beneficial than a sweeping legislation that will limit opportunity for those that genuinely want and need it.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 04 Aug 2011 11:01 pm

Tigerslayer wrote:I personally believe that what is required is to ensure that maids are not being coerced into contracts they don't want to begin with.

Better regulation of agencies and proper follow up to ensure the maid is being looked after properly to the terms of the agreement will be far more beneficial than a sweeping legislation that will limit opportunity for those that genuinely want and need it.


This is pretty much the attitude of those that opposed child labor laws, and laws that limited number of hours per week that labor could be forced to work in the USA.

The 'coercion' is always subtle, not in your face. It took sweeping legislation to reform corrupt and immoral practices, and it will take solid reform to give maids some reasonable platform to bargain against what are currently all powerful agencies and employers.

I'd really like to rant about your combination rose colored glasses/blinders that you seem to be wearing but I'll save that for another thread.

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Postby Tigerslayer » Thu, 04 Aug 2011 11:10 pm

I don't think i am naive regarding the potential for abuse, if regulation was done fully and properly there wouldn't be such an issue.

These aren't children, these are adults and if you level the playing field too much between maids and local workers their industry would disappear and they will be back to being worse than poor in their own country.

You can be a warrior for maids, but do you check where you food etc comes from? If you are going to bring child worker here why not bring every 'exploited' group into this discussion such as the people that grow your rice, or catch your fish.

I don't believe you are any less a consumer of products born from exploitation than people who have maids. It may not be as in your face as the maid industry but I refuse to believe that anyone can be talking from such a pedestal here.

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Postby Strong Eagle » Thu, 04 Aug 2011 11:29 pm

Tigerslayer wrote:I don't think i am naive regarding the potential for abuse, if regulation was done fully and properly there wouldn't be such an issue.


The operative word is 'IF' and to date regulation has not been done 'fully and properly' and prospects are dim that anything will change without significant legislation to force the issue.

These aren't children, these are adults and if you level the playing field too much between maids and local workers their industry would disappear and they will be back to being worse than poor in their own country.


Tiger, you've made your stripes quite clear here... you don't want a level playing field. Improvement of environment for maids will not make the industry disappear... it will reduce demand by eliminating the abusers... but the rest benefit.

You can be a warrior for maids, but do you check where you food etc comes from? If you are going to bring child worker here why not bring every 'exploited' group into this discussion such as the people that grow your rice, or catch your fish.


Your argument is non sequitur... certainly there are other disadvantaged groups but your attempt to divert the discussion is a common... and erroneous... foil to divert debate. Please crank up another thread on exploited fish catchers... this one is about maids.

I don't believe you are any less a consumer of products born from exploitation than people who have maids. It may not be as in your face as the maid industry but I refuse to believe that anyone can be talking from such a pedestal here.


Again, a non sequitur argument. We are talking about rights for maids. I support rights for a lot of dispossessed people but that's not the subject of this thread.

In a developed country like Singapore, with high annual median income, and good benefits for the majority of the workers it is a national shame that exploitation of maids continues to occur. I think it's because the MP's don't have enough balls to stand up for what is right when their constituents insist on keeping slave labor... very common amongst my Singaporean neighbors.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Thu, 04 Aug 2011 11:40 pm

And my neighbours as well and I live in an HDB.

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Postby Tigerslayer » Thu, 04 Aug 2011 11:48 pm

The operative word is 'IF' and to date regulation has not been done 'fully and properly' and prospects are dim that anything will change without significant legislation to force the issue. .


Regardless this is where I see most advantageous avenue for progress. Like you say further on MP's should perhaps grow some balls on this because i do not disagree that abuse of maids should be addressed.

Tiger, you've made your stripes quite clear here... you don't want a level playing field. Improvement of environment for maids will not make the industry disappear... it will reduce demand by eliminating the abusers... but the rest benefit.


This clearly depends on your opinion of the extent of abuse. I would not consider providing an otherwise poverty stricken person an avenue to make money, live in a clean and safe environment, and be provided full board on a mutually agreed contract to be abuse.

If you take away the differentiators between local and foreign helpers who will bother taking on the significant risk and obligation that come with employing a FW? and where does that leave the FW who might otherwise have had this opportunity?

For me abuse is not in the above it is when the employer does not treat the FW well while under their care.


Your argument is non sequitur... certainly there are other disadvantaged groups but your attempt to divert the discussion is a common... and erroneous... foil to divert debate. Please crank up another thread on exploited fish catchers... this one is about maids.


You mean like this?

This is pretty much the attitude of those that opposed child labor laws, and laws that limited number of hours per week that labor could be forced to work in the USA


I think it's because the MP's don't have enough balls to stand up for what is right when their constituents insist on keeping slave labor... very common amongst my Singaporean neighbors


Slave labour: Slavery is a system in which people are the property of others. Slaves can be held against their will from the time of their capture, purchase or birth, and deprived of the right to leave, to refuse to work, or to demand wages. (Source: The intarweb)

You can make grandiose statements such as slave labour to give your points weight but it is clearly b*****ks.

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Postby sundaymorningstaple » Fri, 05 Aug 2011 12:02 am

When an employer locks a maid on the property, refuses her contact with the outside world, retains her passport, creates a savings account for her and refuses to give it to the maid, doesn't give the maid a day off or the ability to contact anybody in the outside world, work her for 18 hours a day, and the list goes on.....

Then you can call it anything you want, but at the end of the day, if a foreign worker is not allowed to carry her own identity or hold her own salary, then, screw your definitions. She is being treated like a slave, regardless of your definitions. One can only hope in your next life you come back as a FDWS in your next life and have one of these employers. Then maybe you will see the light, but as blinkered as you seem to be, I kind of doubt it.


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