Heartfelt thank you to the public for supporting the Hong Kong Dockers Strike
Holding Their Heads Up
Dockers Regained Their Dignity
During the forty days long Hong Kong Dockers Strike, the dockers kept faith and dug deep in this hard-fought battle. In solidarity, the striking workers attained a total of $8.9M of donation from the public in Hong Kong as well as a final 9.8% pay raise. Their struggle spanned from the Kwai Chung Container Terminal to Cheung Kong Centre, the dockers have once again proved that "Solidarity is Victorious”. Moreover, the enormous support shown by the public was no less than a major driving force behind the workers’ determination to success.
Alongside with the support from Hong Kong people, the dockers were successful in attaining the followings:
- A pay raise of 9.8% that covers all workers in the dock, which also includes outsourced cleaners and security guards;
- Outsourced crane operators are given an one hour off-the-spot meal break or 15 minutes on-the-spot meal break;
- Bridge shipping clerks and onboard loading workers are allowed to choose their duty shift by their own will, in order to relieve the pressure caused by overtime that can last up to 48 hours non-stop duties;
- Improvement of resting area, we acknowledge that 20 extra beds and sufficient drinking water are now available to the workers.
Uniting the Power of the People
Thanks to the support of the public, the strike fund was able to record $8,944,845.18 of donation, during which the strike allowance was distributed to the workers in 12 occasions. Each loading worker was able to collect $20,650.00, while each crane operator received one extra imbursement of $1500 due the additional time needed to return to work. Meanwhile, the Fund Management Committee discussed and approved to donate the remaining balance of $90,755.78 from the strike fund to the ‘HKCTU Labour Rights Fund” (see description below) for future struggles of the labour movement.
Reflected by the amount of donations, citizens of Hong Kong refused to act as bystanders when workers stood up against the exploitation from tycoons. Moreover, the striking workers are also very grateful for the donations of daily supplies from the public (i.e. tents, blankets, lunch boxes, drinking water, cup noodles, coffee, etc.), participating in the three solidarity social evenings, and the dockers rally.
Continuing Struggle For Dignity and Justice
After experiencing this historic strike, the society is now able to have a better understanding on the operations, exploitation and bitter conditions inside the container terminal. We will closely monitor the situation of the workers after they return to work and continue to strive for unity and rights of collective bargaining. We will also follow up with the issues that have left unsettled by this labour action. However, it is most significant that the dockers strike has already awakened workers from different industries in recognizing the strength of collective actions, and believe that through collective actions we can eventually alleviate unjust working conditions, and understand that we must continue to struggle in order to regain dignity.
HKCTU Labor Rights Fund
In order to continue to support and promote labor rights, the striking workers initiated the "HKCTU Labour Rights Fund” (Hang Seng Bank: 295-164578-003), the fund has thus far raised more than $300,000. The Fund is managed by one Executive Board member from the Union of Hong Kong Dockers, three HKCTU Executive Board members and a community member. The main objectives are as follows:
1. To support industrial action by trade unions to fight for reasonable working conditions and labour rights;
2. To fight for the improvement of the Labour Law;
3. To advocate the Right of Collective Bargaining.
In order to fight for decent work and just labor relations, the most direct means to support the labour movement is to join the union. For membership admission enquiry, please call the HKCTU hotline at 27708668