No injustice is unattainable: HKCTU sorrowfully mourn the death of Mr. Chan Kam-hong

We sorrowfully mourn the death of our comrade-in-arms, Mr. Chan Kam-hong, who passed away of illness on the night of 5 May, 2019. He was 60.

Chan is a long-term comrade of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) in the independent labour movement.  For decades, Chan provided important support to many of our affiliates’ missions to improve occupational health and safety in various industries. The death of Chan is a profound and irreplaceable loss to the movement.

Chan Kam-hong joined the Christian Industrial Committee in 1983 and started as a volunteer in the Industrial Injury Unit. He then served as the chief executive of the Association for the Rights of Industrial Accident Victims (ARIAV) for the past 36 years. Unreservedly adhered to the values of independent labour movement, Chan dedicated his entire life to supporting injured workers and their families, seeking justice for the underprivileged of society. He is truly a pioneer of the independent labor movement in Hong Kong.

Whenever terrible occupational accidents took place, Mr. Chan and his colleagues were always there to provide support for the families of the deceased, and ran everywhere for those who lost their lives innocently. Whenever contractors disregarded occupational safety, Chan was always the first to rebuke unscrupulous bosses of putting profits over human lives. Throughout his life, Chan held the conviction of "no justice is unattainable" and always did his best, regardless of obstacles and adversities, to fight for the dignity of workers. Although his is no longer with us, his spirit will surely remain and continue to shine.

In recent years, the Government has launched a number of large-scale infrastructure projects that caused repeated industrial accidents. Chan was especially enraged at the government and developers’ disregard of human lives. He continued to lash at the lack of government supervision, the courts’ lenient on law offending employers, and the inadequacy of occupational health and safety related legislations. Every year, under the leadership of Chan, the ARIAV would launch a large-scale activity on the International Commemoration Day for Dead and Injured Workers on April 28 to organize injured workers and their families to demand the government to improve ineffectual policies. Regrettably, Chan Kam-hong failed to witness the government's efforts to improve occupational health and safety of workers in his lifetime. We will certainly strive to inherit Mr. Chan’s legacy and continue to fight tirelessly for the cause of workers’ lives.

Although Chan Kam-hong has left us, the spirit he left behind will last forever in the hearts of each of us. The HKCTU hereby expresses its deepest respect to Mr. Chan and also expresses deep condolences to his family, colleagues, and friends.

Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions

6 May, 2019