Staff 'harass' breast-feeding mother

PUBLISHED : Friday, 09 July, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 09 July, 1999, 12:00am

A shopping centre is to consider establishing baby-feeding rooms after a breast-feeding mother said she was chased out of a washroom by security staff.

Wong Yiu-mei said she was forced to breast-feed her 2.5-month-old son, Ming-kit, in a washroom for the disabled at Landmark North Shopping Centre in Sheung Shui on Tuesday when the women's rest-room was closed for cleaning.

She was interrupted several times in less than 20 minutes by management staff, who tried to gain access with a key, and was told she could not breast-feed there again.

After receiving inquiries from Ms Wong, the Equal Opportunities Commission said yesterday it would ask Kai Sing Management Services to state its policy on breast-feeding at the shopping centre.

But the commission could not investigate the case until Ms Wong lodged a formal complaint, a spokeswoman said.

Ms Wong said while she was in the washroom, security staff knocked on the door and asked her what she was doing.

She told them she was breast-feeding and staff tried to open the door with a key, but it was locked.

'When I came out . . . I asked them if I could breast-feed there in the future and they said no.' A management spokesman said the incident was a misunderstanding and none of the staff had barred Ms Wong from breast-feeding.

He said the company's policy was to be helpful to patrons and it was considering setting up a mother's room.

Had Ms Wong requested help, she could have used a 'comfortable room' behind the management office on the fifth floor, he said.