Unions from Asian countries show support to independent union movement in China and Hong Kong

The HKCTU calls on international unions to keep their faith

The HKCTU attended the International Trade Union Confederation’s Asia Pacific (hereafter: ITUC-AP) Regional General Council and proposed a resolution on China. The resolution urged the international unions to support Chinese workers’ struggles in improving labour conditions and trade union rights, to demand the Chinese Government release detained labour activists immediately and to genuinely implement all core labour standards as stated in the ILO conventions. Regarding Hong Kong, the General Council fully supported the Hong Kong trade unions’ quest for universal, fair and democratic elections. It also condemned the Hong Kong SAR Government in creating White Terror after the Umbrella Movement, by targeting activists, some of them unionists, with politically charged prosecutions.

At the same time, the Japanese Trade Union Confederation proposed another resolution, demanding the ITUC-AP continue implementing the ITUC’s China Policy, i.e. to facilitate in building the relations between sectoral Global Union Federations and the ACFTU. As a result, the General Council of the ITUC-AP combined the two proposed resolutions on China and passed them as one revised resolution.

Lee Cheuk-yan, the general secretary of the HKCTU has pointed out that the labour movement in Hong Kong and China has been enduring a hard time as political control is tightening. By passing this resolution, the ITUC AP showed the needed support to the workers. However, Lee believes that the ITUC-AP’s willingness to exchange with the ACFTU, is contradicting its position in supporting the independent labour movement. History has shown us that while dialogue with the official unions might not improve workers’ rights it will certainly be used for propaganda purpose. Lee reassured that the HKCTU would continue to inform the international community about the labour movement in Hong Kong and China, to promote advocacy and monitor multinational corporations in improving labour conditions.

The HKCTU delegation

Speech by Lee Cheuk-yan, general secretary of the HKCTU