Video shows Hong Kong domestic helper spitting into baby milk formula

A domestic helper tampers with infant formula milk. Screenshot via Facebook video
A domestic helper tampers with infant formula milk. Screenshot via Facebook video

A video of a domestic worker in Hong Kong spitting into a bottle while preparing milk formula is making the rounds on Facebook.

In the 28-second clip, a woman is seen holding an infant bottle and scooping milk power into it. Then, she spits a glob of saliva into the bottle before walking away with it.

According to a caption that accompanied the video, the woman is an Indonesian domestic worker who has since been let go by her employer.

The video was shared in a number of groups on Facebook, including one called “Must-know news for employers of domestic workers.”

Netizens in the group called the video shocking and said that even if the helper wanted to take revenge, that she shouldn’t have implicated a baby.

Read more: Hong Kong police are targeting domestic workers when enforcing social distancing laws: Rights group

The chairman of Hong Kong Employment Agencies Association, Cheung Kit-man, said sour relationships in households have in the past led to employers abusing their helpers, as well as helpers taking revenge.

“There are issues on both [the employer and helper’s] sides, this is not a one-sided situation,” he said, according to HK01.

In June, the Hong Kong Federation of Asian Domestic Workers Unions (FADWU) said that domestic workers are facing increased discrimination—including from their employers—since the coronavirus began.

There have also been reports of employers not allowing their helpers to take their weekly day off, fearful they could catch the virus outside.

There are close to 400,000 domestic workers in Hong Kong hired to perform household and childcare duties at a monthly salary of HK$4,630 (US$597). The city’s minimum wage does not apply to domestic helpers.

The helpers, mostly from the Philippines and Indonesia, are often subject to long working hours and physically demanding tasks.

In June, an Indonesian domestic helper was given jail time after she was found guilty of spiking food in her employer’s home with a steroid, causing the employer and her son to be hospitalized. The employer also gained 40 pounds and suffered swelling.

The helper’s lawyer said she tampered with the meals as revenge for her employer not allowing her to resign.

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