In this newsletter:🔸ITUC World Congress endorsed an emergency resolution on Hong Kong 🔸Lee Cheuk Yan’s bail application denied🔸Hong Kong Foodpanda couriers on strike
The ITUC World Congress passed an emergency resolution to demand the revocation of the National Security Law and the release of trade union leaders in Hong Kong
During their 5th World Congress held in Melbourne last month, the ITUC passed an emergency resolution to demand the immediate release of all trade union leaders imprisoned in Hong Kong. The congress this year gathered 1,000 trade union representatives from 130 countries.
The resolution declared that the governments of Hong Kong and China have suppressed civil society organisations in Hong Kong under the National Security Law: Over 60 trade unions have been forced to disband, and union leaders were arrested and imprisoned because they peacefully expressed their opinions and participated in protests. The resolution concluded that the Hong Kong autonomous trade union movement is now facing existential threats and unequivocally denounced the authorities for weaponising laws against trade unions and human rights activists.
During the congress, we met with trade union representatives from South Korea, France, Norway, Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, Brazil, and Argentina. It was very encouraging to see their support for the Hong Kong trade unionists behind bars, including this message from Yang Kyeung-soo, the president of the Korean Confederation of Trade Unions. Our team had fruitful meetings with these unions and discussed our future collaborations. Watch this space, and get involved!
Sharing session with unionists in exile from Myanmar and Belarus
Our executive director Christopher Mung also joined unionists in exile from Myanmar and Belarus and shared their experiences in a workshop “A Dialogue with Exiled Trade Unionists from Myanmar, Hong Kong and Belarus”. The challenges confronting the independent labour movement in the three places may not be the same, but the devastation we see under authoritarian regimes resonated with the delegates.
This workshop) widened my vision of global solidarity and convinced me that there is still plenty we can accomplish.Christopher Mung
Stand with Hong Kong Trade Unionists behind Bars
The Hong Kong High Court denied Lee Cheuk Yan’s bail application on 6 December 2022. The court ruled there was insufficient evidence to believe Lee would not continue to engage in acts endangering national security if he was granted bail.
Lee Cheuk Yan has been imprisoned for over 19 months since his arrest in April 2021. He has completed his sentences for multiple offences related to his peaceful participation in “unauthorised” assemblies.
Lee is now being held in custody for the Hong Kong Alliance case. He has been charged with subversion of state power under the Hong Kong National Security Law.
Lee was the chairperson of the now-disbanded Hong Kong Alliance, which listed “ending authoritarian one-party rule” in China as one of its five operational goals.
Chow Hung-Tung, the former vice chairperson of the Hong Kong Alliance, who has also been detained and charged in the same case, said that the Hong Kong Secretary of Justice informed them that their case would be tried without a jury. She said the Hong Kong Secretary of Justice quoted reasons including the case involved “foreign factors” and “there is a real risk that the due administration of justice might be impaired.”
Last month, SOLIDAR, an European and worldwide NGO network organisation, awarded Lee Cheuk-yan the Silver Rose Lifetime Achievement Award for his dedication and contribution to the Hong Kong independent labour movement.
What’s happening in #HKLabourRights
Foodpanda couriers on strike: A moment for building transnational labour solidarity
On 4 November, hundreds of Hong Kong Foodpanda couriers took to the streets on their motorbikes to protest over cuts to their earnings. This was their second strike in a month and the third in a year. Their strike was also a rare protest scene in the city since the National Security Law was implemented, where public protests have become rare.
It is also worth noting that platform workers are on strike across Asia, pushing against similar unfair and exploitative practices by the companies. How can the workers transform their local action into a global movement and demonstrate international solidarity?
This has been the wrap-up of our work for the past few weeks. If you like our work, help us spread the word by forwarding this email to your friends. Let more people know about #HKLabourRights.
Hong Kong Labour Rights Monitor