We fight until we win
We fight until we win
—Chan Hing Lung
President of Swire Beverages (Hong Kong) Employees General Union
Hung Lung has been joining the union for 9 years. “I did not know what a union is when I saw the union member collect union fees and recruit members in the office but I just joined with them”, he said. He has been gaining a lot of experiences during his participation in the union, that he initiated a signature petition against unreasonable night shift and then he run for union committee member election after one year later. When he became the committee member of the union, he constantly faced intensive pressure from the management. “ I was transferred to a sales department when my direct supervisor always increased my sales targets that I could never meet the requirement. Then the manager took it as an excuse to fire me and one other colleague in the department,” Lung recalled. In order to support Lung from being victimized by the company, the union warned that they would go on strike if they company dismiss lung. As a result, the company did not dare to suck Hing Lung but to transfer him to the delivery team so his income has been reduced since then and his position in the company was actually demoted. At first, his annual salary adjustment was just 1.4% to 1.8%. He once felt very frustrated and nearly gave up the union but he was encouraged by the union organizer at that time that the union could not lose even one member. Hing Lung then vowed to fight persistently.
“I then fought very hard with my members in the union for the pay rise adjustment. We got 4% annual adjustment now and we also achieved gaining the double pay and bonus for new contract employees as same as old contract employees. We also stopped out-sourcing of many departments many times.” The strike in 2013 was mainly against the unpaid overtime work of delivery team and to gain justice for a truck driver who was abandoned by the company due to a traffic accident of him. Most importantly, it was to push the company to recognize the union. Hing Lung angrily recalled what a management representative said a meeting with the management at one night before the strike. They said the company had 1,200 employees so the union even with 600 members was still not legitimate to represent employees to negotiate with the management.
Hing lung found himself changed a lot during his experiences in the union and with the support from HKCTU and International Union of Food workers. He hopes all the workers “devote themselves and solidarity is power”. He thinks that people united can make things happen.