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July 4, 2022

Crushed ice machine

A catering union on Monday said it’s helping former employees of Asia Catering to recover unpaid wages, after several eateries under the group shut down without warning earlier this month.

Ma La Niang Zi, Mee Lemongrass and Kokonoi Shokudo were among the restaurants under Asia Catering that had shuttered on July 1.

The Eating Establishment Employees General Union told a press conference that over 100 staff are affected by the unexpected closures, with overdue salaries and MPF funds amounting to over HK$3 million.

One of the workers, surnamed Lee, said she’s seeking HK$60,000 from her employer.

“I feel very shocked. We didn’t expect [the closure] at all. We are very disappointed because the company owes us salaries and holidays. We have gone through a lot (working in the catering sector). And it’s hard to get a new job,” she said.

The union’s Head Secretary, Wong Pit-man, said the Labour Department and Mandatory Provident Fund Schemes Authority need to step in.

“We hope that the Labour Department can form a working group to look into this special case involving so many workers, and offer compensation to the workers as soon as possible,” he said.

A Labour Department representative present at the press briefing said officials will provide assistance by helping affected workers get in touch with their employers and file requests for compensation.

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