Newsletter October 2023

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In this issue: UN Experts New Statement on Hong Kong | International Solidarity | HK Labour Rights Newsflash | Event Recap |

On 9 October, four UN Special Rapporteurs issued a statement, expressing serious concern about the first mass trial of 47 people under the Hong Kong National Security Legislation (NSL) and the issuance of arrest warrants and bounties against pro-democracy trade unionists and activists from Hong Kong currently in exile overseas. 

This month also marks the second anniversary of the disbandment of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions. As HKCTU’s General Secretary Lee Chek-Yan once said, HKCTU had sown the seed of conviction in the independent labour movement in Hong Kong, and it would lead others to continue the cause. We will continue to amplify workers’ voices from Hong Kong to the world and monitor labour rights issues and the development of the independent trade union movement in Hong Kong. 

International Solidarity

October has been a month full of solidarity! We co-hosted a solidarity reception for the first time in the UK, Christopher Mung, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Labour Rights Monitor, also attended the UK Labour Party Conference in Liverpool and visited the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) and think tanks in Sweden.

Solidarity reception with UNISON

On 5 October, we co-hosted a solidarity reception with UNISON. We were glad to have Catherine West MP, Shadow Foreign Minister (Asia & the Pacific) of the Labour Party, and Paul Nowak, General Secretary of the TUC, speaking at the event. We’d also like to thank all of the trade union representatives and our friends from the Hong Kong community for coming out to support us.

At the launch event of “Global State of Trade Union 2023” with the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO)

Meeting with the Swedish Trade Union Confederation and local think tanks

Christopher Mung, Executive Director of the Hong Kong Labour Rights Monitor, visited Sweden and spoke to the Swedish Trade Union Confederation (LO) and local think tanks on the crackdown on independent trade unions in Hong Kong. Mung also attended the launch event for LO’s latest report, “Global State of Trade Unions 2023”, during his visit.

Liz Wheatley, International Affairs Chair of UNISON, spoke in support of the resolution at PSI 31st World Congress.

PSI condemns the continued repression of trade unions in Hong Kong

This month, the Public Services International (PSI) passed a resolution at its 31st World Congress condemning the governments and security forces’ continued repression of workers and trade unions, including Hong Kong, Cambodia, the Philippines, and South Korea. The resolution was introduced by five Japanese trade unions. Liz Wheatley, International Affairs Chair of UNISON highlighted the situation in Hong Kong as she spoke in support of the resolution.

HK Labour Rights Newsflash

  • 26 years after the abolition of collective bargaining, what is left of our labour rights? (Chinese only) < Read more >
  • HK Policy Address 2023: Still no clear schedule to enhance the review mechanism of the Statutory Minimum Wage < Read more >
  • Hong Kong raised the minimum wage for domestic helpers by about HK$100 per year in the past decade, far less than the inflation rate < Read more >
  • Nine people killed in industrial accidents in just two months. New penalty rules do little to deter fatal incidents < Read more >

Event Recap

Photo: Guildford Hongkongers

Labour Rights Talk for Hongkongers and Exhibition

On 21 October, we brought the labour rights talk and exhibition to Guildford, Surrey, in the UK, in collaboration with the Guildford Hongkongers. Up next, we are going to Cardiff in Wales and Manchester in northwest England in November. If you would like to co-host an event in your area, please email us at [email protected] !

That’s a wrap for this month. We’d appreciate it if you could share this email with your network. It would help us reach a wider audience and increase awareness of #HKLabourRights. Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook for more updates.

In solidarity,

Hong Kong Labour Rights Monitor

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