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Luke Ching Chin-wai doesn’t exactly blend in as an undercove

Luke Ching Chin-wai doesn’t exactly blend in as an undercove -Luke-Ching-Chin-wai-doesnt-exactly-blend-in-as-an-undercove

Luke Ching Chin-wai doesn’t exactly blend in as an undercover station cleaner on Hong Kong’s MTR subway network.⁠

At 1.88 metres (6ft 2 inches) tall and of strong build, he dwarfs his only other co-worker, the stand-in foreman – a petite, older woman who is representative of the silent, invisible army that methodically wipes down surfaces and cleans toilets inside the city’s busiest public transport hubs.⁠

That they remain overlooked even when their work has become more crucial and risky during a pandemic is the reason the 49-year-old artist, columnist and part-time lecturer is working an eight-hour shift along the Tuen Ma Line that connects the eastern and western New Territories with Kowloon.⁠

On November 28, Ching signed up with Winson Cleaning Service, one of the contractors providing cleaning services for the railway company which is majority-owned by the Hong Kong government.⁠

Ching has discovered there is nothing basic about a job that pays the statutory minimum wage of HK$37.50 (US$4.80) per hour.⁠

He finds that unacceptable for a corporation owned and controlled by the government and which made a profit of HK$2.7 billion in the first six months of the current financial year.⁠

The person who interviewed him for the job had no idea who he was and showed little interest in his background or experience, he says, because the job is so unattractive. And technically, he has experience. For the past 13 years, Ching has regularly fought for labour rights by putting himself in the shoes of some of the lowest-paid workers.⁠

Read the full report at link in bio.⁠
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