Turning a blind eye to Hong Kong employers’ violation of social security obligation

Deprivation of Regulation on Collective Contracts

On 28 October 2015, the HKCTU and other labour organizations launched a protest at United Centre in Admiralty, to condemn the four major business associations in Hong Kong, which had been connived its members at owing Chinese migrant workers’ pension insurance premiums and forcing the Guangdong Provincial Government to revise its Regulations on Collective Contracts (2015).

According to a research conducted by the HKCTU, more than 55% of the labour actions in Hong Kong-owned factories are caused by missing social insurance premiums, especially in pension funds. The missing social insurance premiums in total are estimated to be RMB 3.6 billion. The HKCTU had written to the business associations, demanding them to better monitor their members in practicing their corporate social responsibility and to blacklist unscrupulous enterprises. However, the business associations failed to address this issue.

On the other hand, the four major business associations and Hong Kong entrepreneurs published a statement and open letter in newspaper in 2015, demanding the Guangdong Government to stop implementing its Regulations on Collective Contracts. Their action eventually forced the Guangdong Government to remove some restrictive provisions, e.g. the penalties which employers would face if they refuse to negotiate with workers are removed. Such a revision makes the regulations a toothless tiger and workers’ rights to collective bargaining are deprived.

At the protest, the HKCTU used a pair of scissors to cut a drawing of handshake apart. It symbolized that the four business associations had destroyed the harmony between workers and employers. The HKCTU continues to urge the business associations to blacklist members or revoke memberships when they violate Chinese labour legislations. Chinese workers’ rights to collective bargaining should be respected and the HKCTU would welcome a meeting with the business associations, to discuss the labour exploitation conducted by Hong Kong entrepreneurs in China.