Tuesday, April 23, 2013
Hong Kong: Defend dockworkers' right to strike
Members of the Union of Hong Kong dockworkers (UHKD) employed by Hong Kong International Terminals (HIT) which is a subsidiary of global network terminal (GNT) operator Hutchison Port Holiding Trust (HPH), went out on strike on 28 March. The action was taken as a last ditch attempt to bring management to the table to discuss health and safety, working conditions, pay parity between contract and directly employed workers and the exploitation of outsourced workers. International Transport Workers Federation president Paddy Crumlin says: "Hutchinson should be ashamed that workers under their contract are being treated little better than caged animals. The abuses must stop and the employers need to show that they are committed to ending the exploitation of outsourced dockworkers." An interim injunction which prevents UHKD workers from staging full scale strike action was extended on Friday by the Hong Kong High Court, thus denying workers the fundamental right to take industrial action. The union and hundreds of thousands of dockers worldwide, are calling on HIT and HPH to take responsibility for the welfare of their workers whether they are directly employed or subcontracted and enter into open and transparent dialogue.