Candidates 'lacking on labour issues'

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 30 October, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 30 October, 1996, 12:00am

Three of the main contenders for chief executive have no grasp of labour issues, chairman of the Federation of Trade Unions Cheng Yiu-tong said yesterday.

He said former chief justice Yang Ti Liang, businessman Peter Woo Kwong-ching and shipping tycoon Tung Chee-hwa had been found wanting on bread-and-butter issues.

'They raised a lot of questions . . . but I felt that they did not have a good grasp of grassroots issues,' Mr Cheng said.

Mr Cheng said he hoped to arrange further meetings with candidates for the post.

Mr Yang, who formally stepped down from the Judiciary on Monday, yesterday kicked off an intensive programme of visits to groups and organisations.

He discussed unemployment and the importation of labour with representatives of the pro-China Federation of Trade Unions.

Asked whether as a non-businessman he would adopt a more sympathetic attitude in the formulation of labour policy, Mr Yang said: 'I hope that I will be able to strike a balance and would not be sympathetic to any side.

'I think a chief executive should act impartially.' He added: 'He or she should consider the interests of every sector.' At a meeting with senior members of the Federation of Education Workers, Mr Yang said that he would strengthen civic education should he become the chief executive.

He added that the territory's universities should maintain their position of being international, so as to maintain a competitive edge for their graduates.