Solemn Statement by the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions on the Besmirching Remarks

Solemn Statement by the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions on the Besmirching Remarks

Yesterday, the media received “black materials” from anonymous source which disclosed information of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) regarding its programmes, finance as well as email communications, all with the intention to smear. HKCTU condemns the groundless allegations made without any support of facts, and in order to set the record straight, solemnly declares the following:
 
1. The American Centre for International Labour Solidarity (the Centre) was founded by the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), which is the largest national federation of unions in the United States. It is responsible for allocating resources to support workers struggles world-wide for safe and healthy working conditions, social security and labour rights. According to the annual reports on its website, the Centre has supported programmes in over 60 countries across the globe. Hong Kong is only one of the districts implicated. Grants have been made and received according to programme proposals submitted by HKCTU, with no political request attached. All funding has been used for labour education as well as work of labour advocacy and campaigns. Over the past 7 years, HKCTU has received about HK$600,000 per year for which work and financial reports were submitted to the funder. All incomes and expenses were truthfully and clearly reflected in our financial reports and were handed in to the Inland Revenue Department with any concealment.
 
2.  As HKCTU was as registered under the Societies Ordinance, it cannot directly hold any property under its name. Henceforth, the Executive Board resolved some years ago to set up the HKCTU Professional Training Institute Limited (the Institute) in order to hold properties of the confederation and Tang Yin Nei, executive director of HKCTU, was entrusted as a member of Board of the Institute. Tang therefore represented the Institute to sign the lease of Yuen Long Centre with the landlord in February 2010. The act was done with the knowledge and supervision of HKCTU. There has been no implication of any kind regarding personal interests or business.
 
3.  The ITUC/GUF Hong Kong Liaison Office (IHLO) is office set up in Hong Kong by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC). Due to delays in funding allocations and cash flow, IHLO has previously requested two loans from HKCTU, respectively in April and in June 2014. Acknowledgements of Debts were officially signed in both instances with endorsement by the Finance Committee of HKCTU. The allegation that the loans were made to “avoid investigation” is mere fabrication.
 
Despite explanations and clarifications HKCTU made yesterday, some media groups have remained unheeded to the facts and truths. They continue with their misleading and slandering coverages with the political intention to besmirch Lee Cheuk Yan, General Secretary of HKCTU. On this, we express our deepest regret and we reserve the right to pursue action for legal liability.
 
In the Occupy Central Movement for democracy, certain people have deliberately made up slanderous materials to purge those with dissenting views. Their motivation is abundantly clear. The HKCTU reiterates that it will remain persevering and dauntless in the struggle for genuine universal suffrage not withstanding the political intimidation and suppression to be encountered.