Hong Kong dockers hold firm

Submitted by Matthew on 23 April, 2013 - 8:22

The Hong Kong dock strike is approaching the one-month mark, with workers holding firm on their demands and escalating their action.

After unsatisfactory negotiations on 17 April, workers set up a protest camp outside the headquarters of Hutchinson Wampoa Ltd., the parent company of the Hutchinson Port Holdings Trust, of which Hong Kong International Terminals Ltd. is a subsidiary.

The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions is demanding a 23% pay increase. Its members have faced a decade-long wage freeze and some workers earn an average hourly rate of less than £5 for shifts that can last up to 24 hours, including 12 hours of continuous crane operation without toilet breaks. One worker said: “We are overworked, not given enough rest time, and we don’t have proper toilet breaks. We have to shit in newspapers in our cranes.”

HIT bosses have said that the strike is costing HK$5 million (£421,935) per day.

The LabourStart website has organised a solidarity appeal for the dockers.

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