Press Release and Statement (HK)

HKCTU statment: The new era of Democratic Movement in HK begins

12

Dec 2014

All arrested protesters are free

The new era of Democratic Movement begins

December 12 2014

HKCTU leaders and members who were arrested at the 75-day Admiralty occupation on Dec 11th 2014 while they stayed with other protesters to resist the police to clean up the occupation zone, were all released on Dec 12th 2014. Ending of the occupation was just a beginning of a new era of the movement for true democracy.

 

It was reported that 247 protesters were arrested on Dec 11 and 7 of them from HKCTU: General Secretary Lee Cheuk Yan, Chief Executive Mung Siu Tat, Bar Bender Workers Union Chairperson Wong Wai Man, Community Care and Nursing Workers Union Ar Dick, Van Delivery Workers Unions Simpson, Organizing Secretary Fredrik Fan and a volunteer Wu Sui Ming. They all were released in 12 hours without any charges. After the release, the two leaders of HKCTU made the following comments.

Brother Mung Siu Tat reflected that, “I have been fighting for labour rights over 20 years in my life time seeing how the workers were exploited by bosses and unfair systems. If we would accept the ‘fake universal suffrage’ proposal from the National People’s Congress, the policy making will still be business leaning, as the big corporates are the few but powerful nominators. It implies universal labour rights, such as standard working hours, right to collective bargaining, universal pension fund, would continue to be “blocked” by the functional constituencies. When the roads are occupied, bailiff and the police would conduct the clearance, yet, what happen if our democratic rights and labour rights are “blocked”? If we don’t join force, who can clear up the road to democracy and labour rights? We have to open our roads by our peoples’ power.

Brother Lee Cheuk Yan said that, “the authorities can use police to clean up the protest site but they cannot kill the spirit and courage of people for democracy. It is going to be tough in future, we have to prepare that the government will use rules and orders as tools for suppressing the social activists and civil society after this battle. At the same time, we see hopes from the active political participation and strong leaderships of youngsters in this movement. HKCTU will try to reach out to the young activists among working class so as to build up an emerging and powerful trade union movement in Hong Kong”. 

There were a lot of solidarity actions locally and internationally to call for immediate release of the protesters. HKCTU is very thankful to IUF for launching the online petition to show international solidarity to HK democratic struggles. HKCTU will continue the struggle with all working class, students and citizens in Hong Kong to fight for universal suffrage of Chief Executive and Legislative Council in 2017 and 2018. 

All arrested protesters are free The new era of democratic movement begins

12

Dec 2014

All arrested protesters are free

The new era of democratic movement begins

Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions

December 12, 2014

 

HKCTU leaders and members who were arrested at the 75-day Admiralty occupation on Dec 11th 2014 while they stayed with other protesters to resist the police to clean up the occupation zone, were all released on Dec 12th 2014. Ending of the occupation was just a beginning of a new era of the movement for true democracy.

 

It was reported that 247 protesters were arrested on Dec 11 and 7 of them from HKCTU: General Secretary Lee Cheuk Yan, Chief Executive Mung Siu Tat, Bar Bender Workers Union Chairperson Wong Wai Man, Community Care and Nursing Workers Union Ar Dick, Van Delivery Workers Unions Simpson, Organizing Secretary Fredrik Fan and a volunteer Wu Sui Ming. They all were released in 12 hours without any charges. After the release, the two leaders of HKCTU made the following comments.

 

Brother Mung Siu Tat reflected that, “I have been fighting for labour rights over 20 years in my life time seeing how the workers were exploited by bosses and unfair systems. If we would accept the ‘fake universal suffrage’ proposal from the National People’s Congress, the policy making will still be business leaning, as the big corporates are the few but powerful nominators. It implies universal labour rights, such as standard working hours, right to collective bargaining, universal pension fund, would continue to be “blocked” by the functional constituencies. When the roads are occupied, bailiff and the police would conduct the clearance, yet, what happen if our democratic rights and labour rights are “blocked”? If we don’t join force, who can clear up the road to democracy and labour rights? We have to open our roads by our peoples’ power.

 

Brother Lee Cheuk Yan said that, “the authorities can use police to clean up the protest site but they cannot kill the spirit and courage of people for democracy. It is going to be tough in future, we have to prepare that the government will use rules and orders as tools for suppressing the social activists and civil society after this battle. At the same time, we see hopes from the active political participation and strong leaderships of youngsters in this movement. HKCTU will try to reach out to the young activists among working class so as to build up an emerging and powerful trade union movement in Hong Kong”. 

 

There were a lot of solidarity actions locally and internationally to call for immediate release of the protesters. HKCTU is very thankful to IUF for launching the online petition to show international solidarity to HK democratic struggles. HKCTU will continue the struggle with all working class, students and citizens in Hong Kong to fight for universal suffrage of Chief Executive and Legislative Council in 2017 and 2018. 

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

14

Oct 2014

 

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.

 

International union movement to support Hong Kong people’s protest for genuine universal suffrage!

09

Oct 2014

 

HKCTU calls international union movement to support Hong Kong people's protest for genuine universal suffrage!

35 trade unions and Labour groups' support are pouring in HKCTU and more than 2,500 signatures from unionists across the world have been collected till now!

 

HKCTU has called an emergency strike on 29 September, to protest against the Hong Kong Government's heavy-handed repression of Hong Kong people's freedom of expression and rights to assembly, and police violence against a peaceful protest, organized by students and citizens. Shorter than 24 hours, several unions have joined this call (including Swire Beverages (Hong Kong) Employees General Union, Union of Hong Kong Dockers and social workers in Hong Kong). Their actions show that they fear no repression and their determination to fight for democracy till the end.

 

The international trade unions are also writing to support HKCTU and workers in Hong Kong. By noon, 9 October, International Trade Union Confederation-Asia Pacific, International Union of Food workers, Building and Wood Workers' International, as well as national unions from South Korea, Philippines, Fiji, the USA, Canada, Sweden, the UK, France, Italy and the Republic of Ivory Coast and many others have shown their support to the Hong Kong people. HKCTU has also launched a petition campaign, which more than two thousand and five hundred signatures from unionists across the world have been collected. Together, we want Leung Chun-ying, Chief Executive of Hong Kong and Xi Jinping, President of China to know that we disapprove of their crackdown and we demand:

 

1. The Chinese Government to withdraw its proposal to control Hong Kong's election and return the rights to genuine universal suffrage to Hong Kong people ;

2. To immediately stop repression and guarantee Hong Kong people's rights to peaceful demonstrations. The authority must bear full responsibility of any crackdown.

 

In Solidarity,

 

  1. AFT (American Federation of Teachers)
  2. AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations)
  3. ASA (Asian Students Association)
  4. BCTGM International 
  5. BMP (Bukluran ng Mangagawang Pilipino)
  6. BWI Asia Pacific (Building and Wood Worker's International for Asia and Pacific)
  7. CFDT (French Democratic Confederation of Labour)
  8. CGAS (Geneva Trade Unions Community)
  9. CGT (General Confederation of Labour)
  10. CLC Canadian Labour Congress
  11. The Confederation of Candian Unions
  12. CIAGAHCI-DIGNITE (ITUC Affiliate at Ivory Coast)
  13. Flai CGIL (The italian trade Union of Agriculture and Food sector)
  14. FTUC (The Fiji Trades Union Congress)
  15. Global Labour Institute
  16. ILPS (The international League of People Stuggle)
  17. ITUC-Asia Pacific (ITUC Regional Organisation for Asia and Pacific)
  18. IUF (International Union of Foodworkers)
  19. KCTU (Korean Confederation of Trade Unions)
  20. KMU (Kilusang Mayo Uno)
  21. LABOUR COUNCIL (Toronto & York Region)
  22. Labour Net Japan
  23. Labour Party Philippines
  24. LIVS (Swedish Foodworkers Union)
  25. NAGKAISA (broad labor coalition in philippines)
  26. PSI (Public Services International)
  27. RWDSU (Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union, US)
  28. SBG USS Swiss federation of trade union
  29. SENTRO (Philippines)
  30. The Australian Workers Union
  31. the European trade union Movement
  32. UFCW (The United Food & Commercial Workers International Union, US)
  33. UNIFOR (Canada’s largest union in the private sector)
  34. UNITE HERE (The hotel, food service and gaming union in the United States and Canada)
  35. USW (United Steelworker)

 

HKCTU Strongly Condemns Violent Attacks on Occupy Movement Protesters

03

Oct 2014

 

Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) Strongly Condemns Violent Attacks on Occupy Movement Protesters

 

Chief Executive CY Leung promised to appoint the Chief Secretary for Administration and the political reform trio to have dialogue with the Hong Kong Federation of Students (HKFS), yet allowed thugs to attack the protesters the very next day. This is no different from suppressing citizens who strive for democracy. On October 3, the peaceful protesters were attacked by violence, but the police did not enforce the law though witnessing the thugs hurting the civilians. This is literally giving support to brutality, murdering the freedom of assembly and freedom of speech of Hong Kong people. HKCTU is in extreme anger and hereby strongly condemns the police for tolerating violence and being negligent towards their duty. We strongly demand the police to arrest and prosecute the thugs.

Hong Kong Police Force should be fully responsible to maintain the social order and protect all citizens; however, they murdered the rights of assembly and freedom of speech, in the means of assisting pro-government mobs. HKCTU is furious towards all violence and abuses on peaceful protesters, we denounce Hong Kong Police Forces as they neglected the criminals and failed to keep the order of assembly. We strongly urge for arresting all pro-government mobs by their criminal offenses.

Today, there were a large number of people of unknown background gathered at the Mong Kok occupy area. It is believed that over a thousand members from organizations like "Caring Hong Kong Power" and Voice of Loving Hong Kong screamed, cursed at and attacked the protesters at the scene. At that time very few police were there to support, nor did they stop the attacks. Many unarmed students, workers and citizens were hurt by the thugs. There was even a female student being sexually assaulted and the materials of the protesters got destroyed maliciously. 

As the working class, while striving for democracy, we also believe in engaging in civil disobedience in a loving and peaceful manner. We hereby appeal to all Hong Kong citizens and the international society to:

1. Support the students, workers and citizens in the Occupy Movement
2. Urge CY Leung to stop using violence and tolerating violence to suppress the peaceful protesters, and to uphold the freedom of assembly and speech of Hong Kong
3. Urge the police to instantly investigate the thugs who were organized to attack the protesters and give an explanation to the public
4. Urge the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress to withdraw the fake universal suffrage proposal, and the Hong Kong Government to re-launch the consultation on political reform and implement a genuine universal suffrage
 

HKCTU calls international union movement to support Hong Kong protest for genuine universal suffrage

30

Sep 2014

 

HKCTU calls international union movement to support Hong Kong people's protest for genuine universal suffrage

19 trade unions' support are pouring in till now

 

HKCTU has called an emergency strike on 29 September, to protest against the Hong Kong Government's heavy-handed repression of Hong Kong people's freedom of expression and rights to assembly, and police violence against a peaceful protest, organized by students and citizens. Shorter than 24 hours, several unions have joined this call (including Swire Beverages (Hong Kong) Employees General Union, Union of Hong Kong Dockers and social workers in Hong Kong). Their actions show that they fear no repression and their determination to fight for democracy till the end.

 

The international trade unions are also writing to support HKCTU and workers in Hong Kong. By noon, 30 September, International Trade Union Confederation-Asia Pacific, International Union of Food workers, Building and Wood Workers' International, as well as national unions from South Korea, Philippines, Fiji, USA, Canada, Sweden, the UK, France, Italy and the Republic of Ivory Coast and many others have shown their support to the Hong Kong people. HKCTU has also launched a petition campaign, which more than a thousand signatures from unionists across the world have been collected. Together, we want Leung Chun-ying, Chief Executive of Hong Kong and Xi Jin-ping, President of China to know that we disapprove of their crackdown and we demand:

 

1)    The Chinese Government to withdraw its proposal to control Hong Kong's election and return the rights to genuine universal suffrage to Hong Kong people ;

2)    To immediately stop repression and guarantee Hong Kong people's rights to peaceful demonstrations. The authority must bear full responsibility of any crackdown.

 

In Solidarity,

 

1.    AFL-CIO (American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations)

2.    ASA (Asian Students Association)

3.    BWI Asia Pacific (Building and Wood Worker's International for Asia and Pacific)

4.    Canadian Labour Congress

5.    CFDT (French Democratic Confederation of Labour)

6.    CIAGAHCI-DIGNITE (ITUC Affiliate at Ivory Coast)

7.    Flai CGIL (The italian trade Union of Agriculture and Food sector)

8.    FTUC (The Fiji Trades Union Congress)

9.    Global Labour Institute

10. ITUC-Asia Pacific (ITUC Regional Organisation for Asia and Pacific)

11. IUF (International Union of Foodworkers)

12. KCTU (Korean Confederation of Trade Unions)

13. KMU (Kilusang Mayo Uno)

14. LIVS (Swedish Foodworkers Union)

15. RWDSU (Retail, Wholesale & Department Store Union, US)

16. Toronto & York Region Labour Council

17. UFCW (The United Food & Commercial Workers International Union, US)

18. UNIFOR (Canada’s largest union in the private sector)

19. UNITE HERE (The hotel, food service and gaming union in the United States and Canada)

 

Over 200 Swire Beverages employees go on strike in response to HKCTU’s appeal

29

Sep 2014

 

Over 200 Swire Beverages Employees Go on Strike in Response to HKCTU’s Appeal

 

Swire Beverages Employees General Union strongly condemns the police for using violence to suppress the protesters and throwing tear gas bombs to unarmed civilians yesterday (September 28). The Union considers the freedom of assembly and the freedom of speech basic civil rights which are not to be deprived of or oppressed.

To uphold democracy and justice, the Union called for urgent council meeting this morning and has decided to go on strike to urge the Government to respond to people’s demand for democracy. We cannot leave the students alone to fight against police violence and the suppression from the hegemonic authority. 200 Swire Beverages employees from the delivery section, factory and GT department are joining the strike.

 

We demand that:

1. The police to release the arrested protesters as soon as possible and ensure that the basic human rights of the arrestees are protected during custody.

2. The Government and the police to stop the violent suppression of the peaceful assembly and make apology immediately.

3. The National People’s Congress to retreat the fake universal suffrage proposal and the Hong Kong Government to re-launch the consultation of the political reform. The workers have been demanding for a fair election system without screening to amend the government policies that are seriously partial to the commercial sector. Yet, the fake universal suffrage proposal by the NPC is only old concept put in a new framework. 

4. C.Y. Leung to shoulder the responsibility of the violent suppression and step down immediately.

 

Swire Beverages (Hong Kong) Employees General Union
29 September 2014

 

 

Hong Kong Dockers: Strike to support students, fight for universal suffrage, fight against tyranny

26

Sep 2014

 

Strike to Support Students
Strike to Fight for Universal Suffrage
Strike to Fight Against Tyranny
 

Everyone, we believe that you have witnessed how the tyrannical authority treated our students and citizens from television or in person on Hong Kong Island. The C.Y. Leung Administration and the police applied tear gas bombs, batons and shields to deal with unarmed citizens who fought for a real universal suffrage and held peaceful assembly. 
 
Among the students and citizens are many comrades that have fought with the dock workers during the 40-day dock workers’ strike. Although being confronted with such violence, they are still determined to stay. We council members of the Union of Hong Kong Dockers urge all the dock workers to go on strike! Strike to Support Students! Strike to Fight for Universal Suffrage! Strike to Fight Against Tyranny! 
 
Besides, we hope you know that the police at the scenes are adopting unreasonable manners. Do protect yourself properly. Bring along equipment like plastic wrap, googles, masks etc. with you. Follow official instructions.
 
Fight for universal suffrage in a peaceful manner. Fight against tyranny!
 
HKCTU will hold an assembly in support of the movement starting from 3 pm today outside Admiralty Centre. 
 
CY Leung, step down!
The political reform trio led by Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, step down!
Andy Tsang Wai Hung, step down!
 

Fight for real universal suffrage! Fight against tyranny! Fight for our next generation!

 

Heartfelt thank you to the public for supporting the Hong Kong Dockers Strike

14

Jul 2013

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:

1. A pay raise of 9.8% that covers all workers in the dock, which also includes outsourced cleaners and security guards;

2. Outsourced crane operators are given an one hour off-the-spot meal break or 15 minutes on-the-spot meal break;

3. 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;

4. 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.

 

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