Volunteer lifeguards asked to help
The Leisure and Cultural Services Department is still assessing the impact of a threatened half-day strike by lifeguards at swimming facilities tomorrow.
The Hong Kong and Kowloon Lifeguards' Union expects hundreds of members to take part in the industrial action, from noon to 6:30pm. A spokesman for the department said they were in contact with the Auxiliary Medical Services and the Hong Kong Life Saving Society to see if they could provide volunteer lifeguards.
'We are still making an assessment on the situation and we will inform the public by making announcements through the mass media as soon as we have completed our evaluation of the impact of the strike,' he said.
But he said it was still unknown when the department would finish the report. It hoped to make an announcement about its plans today, he said.
The vice-chairman of the Hong Kong and Kowloon Lifeguards' Union, Alex Kwok Siu-kit, said: 'Nearly every lifeguard was asked if they will report for duty on Friday once the department learned that we had notified the police about our industrial action. They also asked lifeguards to work overtime in return for extra payment, and lifeguards who will be off duty on Friday were encouraged to work. These are the usual tactics adopted by the department every time we stage a strike.'
The strike against outsourcing management and services at swimming facilities will be the second industrial action taken by the lifeguards this month.
About 500 lifesavers joined a strike at Repulse Bay on August 1, with the action causing widespread disruption. About 10 beaches and two swimming pools had to close.