Workers' champion to speak out

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 18 January, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 18 January, 1998, 12:00am

THE only unionist appointed to sit on the Chief Executive's commission on long-term development strategy yesterday pledged to speak for workers' interests.

Speaking on a radio phone-in, Cheng Yiu-tong, leader of the Federation of Trade Unions, said he would tell Mr Tung of the labour problems which had emerged as a result of the economic crisis.

Mr Cheng said he agreed with Mr Tung that Hong Kong should develop hi-tech industries, but it should first carefully assess whether the standard of local workers could meet the target.

'As far as I know, many workers' education level only reaches Form Three. It is a question of whether they can meet the Government's demand to develop hi-tech industries,' he said.

Mr Cheng said the Government should have a comprehensive plan to raise workers' skills.

Asked whether he was worried the committee would be dominated, like the Executive Council, by big businessmen, Mr Cheng said: 'It is only an advisory body, not a centre of authority. We only give advice to Mr Tung. We don't need to vote for policy.'