In this newsletter:
HKCTU: one year after disbanding
Hong Kong Labour Department: new moves to target trade unions
Who is to be held accountable for the fatal industrial accidents in Hong Kong?
Meeting with UNISON, the UK’s largest union
One year ago, the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) ended its 31-year history under tremendous political pressure.
HKCTU embodied the spirit of the independent labour movement. Every hard-won victory, big or small, is a testament to the power of workers to make changes in their lives.
Workers have the power to bring about change, and they need your attention and support, especially those in Hong Kong under the National Security Law (NSL).
In the past two years, more than 100 trade unions in Hong Kong have been forced to disband. Those trade unions that continue to stick to their guns have been struggling.
After the NSL came into effect, the Hong Kong Labour Department established a new high-ranking post specifically responsible for national security functions. Since then, the department has launched a new wave of repression, for example, warning union organisers that their online speeches might violate the Trade Union Ordinances.
The authorities also gazetted a new rule that required applicants for new trade unions to declare that the trade union “will not perform or engage in any acts or activities that may endanger national security or otherwise be contrary to the interests of national security”. The new rule came into effect without any public consultation.
We will continue to monitor labour rights issues in Hong Kong. Watch this space for our reports and analysis.
What’s happening #HKLabourRights
Fatal industrial accidents are all too common in Hong Kong, yet the city has employed the same punishment framework since the 1990s, and the penalty for infractions of workplace safety and health remains fairly lenient.
The Hong Kong Legislative Council is finally scrutinizing an amendment to increase the penalty, although it has been five years since the Hong Kong government announced its plan to change the regulation. In the past five years, 95 precious lives have been lost in 89 fatal industrial accidents. Why has it taken so long to amend this regulation that impacts lives and deaths?
On 22 September 2022, Hong Kong Labour Rights Monitor’s Managing Director, Ming Lam, was invited to join the UK’s largest union, UNISON, at their International Committee Meeting.
Lam presented the prospects of the Hong Kong independent trade union movement under the NSL. Members of the committee expressed concern over the repression of union leaders and stand in solidarity with the imprisoned union leaders in the fight against darkness.
This has been the wrap-up of our work for last month. If you like our work, help us spread the word. Forward this email to your friends. Let more people know about #HKLabourRights.
Hong Kong Labour Rights Monitor