Building group carries out survey to assess extent of losses so far

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 August, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 August, 2007, 12:00am

The Construction Association is carrying out an internal survey to assess the scale of damage that the metalworkers' strike has caused.

'We have just started asking our members about the effect of the workers' industrial action upon them,' said a spokesman for the association, which represents building firms.

He said that as pay rise negotiations were still deadlocked, it would not comment further on the survey.

The labour union revealed that work at about 80 construction sites was at a standstill as more workers joined the dispute. The association estimates there are 400 sites.

Protest organiser Poon Man-hon of the Confederation of Trade Unions (CTU) estimated that contractors had lost about HK$6 million a day as a result of the strike. 'We estimate that contractors' losses are about HK$50,000 to HK$100,000 for each site,' he said. 'The cost is related to work delays the strike caused.'

The president of the Institute of Surveyors, Raymond Chan Yuk-ming, said it was difficult to estimate losses, but he noted that not all sites would be affected even if all metalworkers joined the strike.

'Metalworking is only part of the work of construction and it mainly deals with the initial process,' he said. 'In some construction sites that are doing interior work, no metalworkers are needed.'

The Development Bureau said that the strike affected a number of government projects. 'Fewer than 10 projects are affected and they are not infrastructure projects,' a spokesman said. 'It is too early to say if the completion dates will be delayed.'

CTU members visited sites - residential projects in Wan Po Road, Tseung Kwan O, Lok King Street near the Fo Tan East Rail station and one near Wu Kai Sha station on Ma On Shan Rail - to drum up support and found work badly affected.