A New Way Out for Hong Kong's Struggle? Interview with ‘Defiant Stewardess’ Ng Man Yee, Chairman of Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Union
On New Year's Day in 2020, the Civil Human Rights Front(CHRF) launched a demonstration entitled ‘Never forget, March Side by Side’, expressing the quest of the people of Hong Kong, which is, ‘five demands, all indispensable.’ CHRF notes that a total of 1.03 million people participated in the demonstration.
During the demonstration, the ‘Hong Kong on Strike’ and more than 40 unions set up street stands along the demonstration routes to recruit members and strengthen the organization of the struggle. However, at the beginning of the march, police barged into the stand of the Construction Site Workers' General Union outside the Southorn Playground in Wan Chai and arrested a volunteer of ‘Hong Kong on Strike’ for unknown reason. The riot police also fired pepper spray on other union members. According to ‘Stand News’, a police officer used a loudspeaker at the scene and stated that the police were investigating a case of possession of weapons. The unions issued a statement condemning the police for oppression.
The Transformation of Traditional Trade Unions: From 'Wage-Claiming Machine' to Combining Strength for Three-Front Strike
At the same time, traditional democratic trade unions are tasting a breath of fresh air brought by new blood who joined in. The Construction Site Workers General Union (Construction Site Union hereafter) was established in 1992. Members come from different fields of construction work, including plastering, formwork erection among others. The Construction Site Union hereafter and Bar Bending Industry Workers Solidarity Union are both affiliated to HKCTU. Two officers are employed by the CTU to carry out administrative duties, advocacy work, and casework for the two unions
Anti-Extradition Bill Movement Series- Three Work Sectors Which Have Suffered from Police Brutality
Since the outbreak of the Anti-Extradition Bill Movement in June, the problem of abuse of police power has become more serious, and violence (such as the excessive use of tear gas) has become common. The police have lost control, the monitory mechanism has been failing, but the government still turned a blind eye to the problem and refused to establish an Independent Investigation Committee. The unrestricted police power not only harms the protestors, but also ordinary citizens. One could be deprived of one’s legal rights, and one’s personal safety is not guaranteed. In the past few months, some workers have been affected due to the special circumstances in their work sectors. A lot of problems occurred to wage earners, which affirm the saying, ‘Even if you are ignorant of politics, politics will still come to your door.
2020: 5% Salary Raises Recommended
Conventional economic theory believes that market wages reflect the level of labour productivity; however, statistics show that local real wages have long fallen behind productivity growth. From 2009 to 2018, the overall economic productivity increased by nearly 26%, but the real wages increased by less than 8% during the same period. The difference between the two categories was more than 18 percentage points. The difference in the retail and transportation industries was close to 60 percentage points. In short, it shows that there is still a lot of room for a raise in real wages
A City Defended by Our Children: Labour Rights Activists Teach by Examples and the Art of Communication between Parent and Child
Faced with totalitarian rule, the youngsters took to the streets in different ways compared to the previous generation. From June to November, the older generation was at first puzzled by their action, but gradually came to understanding. Or at least, became empathetic with the youngsters, no longer criticize their approach and choose to stand by them. How great is unspelled love? There are often few words spoken between father and son. When their sons went on the street to protest, the labour rights activists observe silently and are gratified to learn that, unwittingly, their sons have matured.
The Voters Have Quietly Awakened and Refused to Perish in Silence
The turnout rate for the current District Council election reaches 71%, which is the highest among the previous district and legislative elections in Hong Kong. Among the three million voters who have already voted, nearly 1.7 million voters supported the candidates recommended by the Pan-Democratic camp, which implies that the popular vote of Pro-democratic candidates comes close to 60%. Compared with the 2015 District Council election, the number of votes obtained by the Pan-Democratic camp increases by more than 1.08 million. After six months of Anti-Extradition Bill Movement, many Hong Kong people regard this election as a ‘referendum’ and ‘no-trust vote’ to the Hong Kong communist regime and as a punishment to the ‘pro-Beijing’ candidates who have become the accomplice of tyranny. Faced with the erosion of human rights in Hong Kong under the communist regime in recent years and the police violence in recent months, the election results have indeed helped Hong Kong people vent their anger.
‘Battlefield’ social workers between police and protesters
At scenes of conflicts, there are usually a group of people wearing the identification badges which are not police warrant cards but the social worker identification badges. The holders of the badges have no privileges and are not spared from the beats of batons. At the time of writing, some social workers were beaten and some were arrested
Surviving is Not Living: Defending the Dignity of Workers with Living Wage
Living wage refers to the ability of a worker to provide a decent standard of living to his/her family, including proper and nutritional food, reasonable living spaces, protecting basic education needs and medical expenses. Although the minimum wage was implemented in 2011, the minimum wage rates in Hong Kong proved to be insufficient in supporting the livelihood of individuals. In response, The Oxfam published the Hong Kong Living Wage Report. Based on a full-time employee working 26 full-days per month, 8 hours per day, the report calculates the living wage of Hong Kong to $54.7