Hong Kong & Macau

Growing labour conflicts: more strikes due to Hong Kong enterprises’ labour violations

HKCTU Police brutality against the labour movement: strikers physically assaulted in factories In the second year since the establishment of its database to monitor Hong Kong-owned enterprises’ conduct in China, the HKCTU collected documents and reports from media, social media and other labour organizations on various collective labour actions that took place between May 2014 and April 2015. At least 25 cases of workers’ collective rights-defending actions involving Hong Kong capital (a 40% growth compared with the previous year, between May 2013 and April 2014) are identified.  20 of these cases took place in the Pearl River Delta and more than 90% involved strikes. Nearly 30% of cases came from listed companies in Hong Kong. Almost 70% of the cases were triggered by the Hong Kong-owned enterprises’ violations of the Labour Contract Law. 60% of the cases involved “cut and run”, whereby workers received either little or no compensation and were left with wage arrears when the factories closed.

Cathay Pacific flight attendants hold Hong Kong airport sit-in to protest airline's treatment

  Associated Press  MAY 19, 2015 — 9:50AM HONG KONG — Several hundred Cathay Pacific flight attendants were camped inside Hong Kong's airport on Tuesday after union members voted to protest new job contracts offered by the airline. Union member Ada So said about 400 cabin staff had gathered in front of the Cathay check-in desks. She said more than 600 union members cast votes, with most in favor of taking job action. They said they are protesting a cut to some cabin crew allowances, pay discrepancies for recently hired junior staff and a loss of legal support for workers involved in court cases such as civil action stemming from a passenger assault.

Erwiana – stop treating us like slaves

 11.02.2015 - Pressenza Hong Kong Press Release from Erwiana Sulistyaningsih forwarded by the Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) Erwiana Sulistyaningsih’s February 10th Speech 10th February, 2015, Hong Kong SAR: I am happy that I won my case and the justice for me and other victims is finally upheld. I would like to thank Riyanthi for helping me at the airport and make my abused case known to the public, the Justice Committee for Erwiana and Al Migrant Domestic Workers and the Mission for Migrant Workers of St John’s Cathedral and also other good hearted people of HK like the Sen Lok Christian Church who tirelessly supported and assisted me and my fellow friends to ensure that justice is delivered. Also my appreciation to the investigation and prosecution team of Kwung Tong Police Station and honourable judge Amanda Woodcock who have been working hard to handling my case. I also thank my fellow migrant workers in Hong Kong and the world, the Hong Kong people and the international community who have been supporting me all throughout this trial. Without your support and pressure, the Hong Kong and Indonesian governments might not respond to my case at all.

Ming Pao staff strike over June 4 story

  RTHK 04-02-2015 About 80 workers at the newspaper Ming Pao have held a one-hour strike, to protest over a story on the June 4 crackdown being pulled from Monday's front page. Reporters and editors stood outside Ming Pao's building in Chai Wan and put pens on the ground to demonstrate their anger. The paper's staff association says an editorial board decided to run a report, involving an eye-witness account of the crackdown, on the front page. But editor-in-chief Chong Tien-siong ordered it to be replaced with a story about Alibaba's new venture to help young entrepreneurs.

An Open Letter from over 1300 Civil Servants in HK

The following open letter to HK people is signed by at least 1314 civil servants from 65 Departments: "On 20 Oct 2014, the Hong Kong Civil Servants General Union & Government Employees Association (The Unions hereafter) issued a joint letter to condemn the Occupy Central as a movement initiated by politicians to stir conflict and put the wellbeing of Hong Kong at stake in exchange for political capital. As part of the civil servant team, we solemnly declare that the open letter of The Unions does not represent us.  Those who have been paying attention to the Occupy Central movement or the development of the Umbrella Revolution should probably know that traditional role of politicians has been marginalised in the movement and they are not capable of altering its development or direction. Based on the protest in Admiralty on Sep 28 and the Occupy Causeway Bay and Mong Kok on the same day, no single politician or pro-democracy party can rally such a movement. If The Unions was willing to visit the three occupation sites and interact with protesters, who are still stationing there at the moment, before issuing the letter, they might want to change their mind.

Why Hong Kong workers cannot be absent from the umbrella revolution.

This article by Labour Vision Taiwan looks at the Hong Kong democracy movement from an observer’s point of view. The article discusses the background to the Hong Kong movement and relates the struggle for universal suffrage in Hong Kong to the situation in Taiwan, which despite having universal suffrage continues to pass legislation which is not in the interest of the working class.  The article also addresses the role that Hong Kong’s working class has played in the Umbrella Movement and argues that we can learn from the current Hong Kong struggle that the labour and the democracy movement are inseparable.

Discussions on the streets of Occupy Mong Kok

Bai Ruixue   October 9, 2014 After Sunday night, when many people feared that there might be a crackdown on the protests after following several pleas for protesters to leave the sites and the government’s warning that civil servants must be able to return to work the next day, this week the protests have nevertheless continued. While the numbers taking part have fallen – unlike last week, this week is a regular working week – many of the protesters still remain very determined. Talks between the Students’ Federation and the government which had been scheduled for Friday were canceled by the government. Meanwhile pro-Beijing groups have continued to try to disrupt the protesters, although not on the same scale as last Friday. Last night I was in Mong Kok and joined one of many of the discussion groups that have been taking place at the protest sites. Participants in this discussion were concerned with the movement’s goals and how best to achieve them in light of the current situation. The discussion is worth commenting on as the majority of participants were ordinary working people of different generations, (instead of students) as well as a few local activists, who had initiated the discussion. Previously working class and lower middle class people in Hong Kong have tended to be more politically apathetic and this is only something that has begun to change recently, beginning first amongst the young people. What started as a small group discussion, last night, quickly drew in a bigger crowd of participants with those passing by also stopping to give their views.

HKCTU Calls on Workers to Participate in General Strike

HKCTU HKCTU strongly condemns the police crackdown of people’s protest by Hong Kong government Calling all workers in Hong Kong to participate in a general strike on September 29 Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions(HKCTU) strongly condemns the police for their violent attack on unarmed students and people. We strongly condemn the government for suppressing the freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly in Hong Kong. HKCTU calls for all workers in Hong Kong to strike tomorrow, in protest of the ruling of the National People’s Congress, as well as the brutal suppression of peaceful protest by the Hong Kong government. Workers and students must unite to force the totalitarian government to hand state power back to the people.

25 Unions and Social Groups Demand Universal Suffrage and Economic Betterment

  Today, the 24th September 2014, 25 Hong Kong social groups and unions, including the Confederation of Trade Unions, held a press conference to release its statement of support for universal suffrage and economic betterment, in the midst of a one week long student class boycott. The statement criticizes the political reform package presented by the China’s People’s Congress and the Hong Kong government for favoring the rich and the proposed method of choosing the Chief Executive as a fake election. It also criticizes the economic policy of laissez-faire for only favoring the business sector, resulting in an un-regulated labor market and the lack of social security. The handover of HK’s sovereignty to China has changed nothing of the colonial system of favoring the rich. This is why, despite the social movement fighting for an improved pension system and for the regulating of work hours, the government continues to turn a deaf ear. The coalition demands genuine universal suffrage and the implementation of laws on the regulation of work hours and an improved pension system. The statement also demands regular consultation between the government and the civil groups on all social policies.

Lifeguards hold waterfront demonstration

      09-09-2014 RTHK Hundreds of lifeguards have been demonstrating both in, and along the shoreline of, Victoria Harbour as part of a one-day strike over pay and conditions. Their action led to the closure of at least nine pools, and there are no lifesavers at many of Hong Kong's beaches. More than 100 lifeguards swam along the Tsim Sha Tsui coastline, and more than 300 marched along the tourist hotspot, the Avenue of Stars. The lifeguards are unhappy with manpower levels. They also feel underpaid and that the government doesn't treat them as professionals. Many frequently leave the job to join the disciplined services. The Leisure and Cultural Services Department has expressed regret over the strike, and it apologised to swimmers. It said it'll continue its talks with unions to seek a consensus.
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