Newsletter March 2023

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In this issue: ONLINE EXHIBITION: The 10th Anniversary of the Hong Kong dockers’ strike | Solidarity with Elizabeth Tang | UN Committee on ESCR concluding observation

FEATURE | The 10th Anniversary of the Hong Kong Dockers’ Strike Online Exhibition

In March 2013, 500 sub-contracted dock workers went on a 40-day strike to fight for fair wages, fair hours and better working conditions. It was the longest strike in Hong Kong since the 1960s.

The dock workers took over the major traffic route in Hong Kong Kwai Chung Container Port, one of Asia’s busiest ports, and later the entrance to the company’s headquarters. Their action gained widespread popular support in Hong Kong and around the globe.

In this online exhibition, you will see a collection of pictures and illustrations of the 40-day strike. We look at the impact of the dockworkers’ strike and discuss its implications for today’s Hong Kong.

Visit the exhibition via the link below and learn more about this defining moment in Hong Kong’s independent union movement.

The Latest on Hong Kong Labour Rights

Stand with Elizabeth Tang

Elizabeth Tang, the General Secretary of the International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF) and the former Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU), was arrested by the Hong Kong national security police for alleged “foreign collusion” on 9 March. She was released on bail two days later, on 11 March.

Her arrest has drawn global attention and received solidarity messages from IDWF, UNI Global Union, IUF, BWI and more.

HK Labour Rights Newsflash

  • More police operations targeting trade unionists 
    Read more here >
  • Two men arrested for owning children’s books published by a speech therapists union 
    Read more here >
  • Hong Kong Women Workers’ Association called off the IWD march amid arrest threats 
    Read more here >

International Advocacy

UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights concluding observation on Hong Kong

The UN Committee on Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights (ESCR) published its concluding observation on Hong Kong’s implementation of the ESCR this month.

The committee raised concerns over the independence of Hong Kong’s judiciary, trade union rights, and human rights defenders and lawyers working on human rights.

The committee said the implementation of the Hong Kong National Security Law has de facto abolished the independence of Hong Kong’s judiciary and called on the Hong Kong authorities to abolish the national security hotline as it poses detrimental effect on civil society organisation and trade unions’ work.

A visit to France

This month, our Executive Director Christopher Mung travelled to France to visit Force Ouvrière (FO) and met members from their health workers’ unions, social welfare unions and regional offices. The solidarity shown by FO and its members was a powerful motivation for us to carry on our work at the Hong Kong Labour Rights Monitor.

Mung was also invited to the annual solidarity banquet organised by the French activist group Commission Enquête Chine. The group was set up after the Tiananmen Massacre in 1989. Three decades on, the group has been an unwavering ally to the labour activists in China and Hong Kong. It was genuinely heart-warming to see the group publish this 114-page book (below) documenting HKCTU’s history in French!

March has been eventful and filled with solidarity for us at HKLRM! Thank you all for your support. Your kind words and encouragement have truly been motivating and helped us stay strong.

Lastly, we’d appreciate it if you could share this email with your network. This would help us reach a wider audience and increase awareness of #HKLabourRights on the ground. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more updates.

Hong Kong Labour Rights Monitor

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