On 15 July, we organised the first labour rights talk and exhibition of the Hong Kong independent labour movement in Sheffield. It was pouring fiercely that day, yet the weather couldn’t keep our participants away.
Joe Wheatley, TUC Yorkshire and the Humber’s policy and campaign support officer, joined us and explained UK labour laws, for example the labour rights protection in various types of employments, such as employees, workers and self-employed individuals. Joe emphasised that the law is only the baseline for labour rights protection, and workers must unite to fight for their rights, for example, creating or joining a union.
Christopher Mung, Executive Director of Hong Kong Labour Rights Monitor, spoke about our work and how we used platform like international trade unions and the United Nations to raise the voice of the Hong Kong workers. Mung also recommended Hong Kongers living in a free society to exercise their own rights, such as by joining trade unions to defend labour rights. Mung also noted that despite strikes might have an impact on people’s daily lives, they are a means of resolving dispute and balance the power between labour and the employers. Hong Kong people should support and understand them.
During the discussion, a variety of questions were asked from the floor, including what to look for when signing a contract, working hours regulations, and occupational health and safety. We are planning to organise similar event in other places around the UK in the future. Keep an eye out for event details. The next event could take place near you. Also keep an eye out on our website as we are creating more content on labour rights.