Pay pledge for former staff of Sing Pao daily
Former employees of Sing Pao Daily News will receive their unpaid wages next week, the editor-in-chief of the Chinese-language paper said.
Speaking after a two-hour meeting with a group of former workers yesterday at the Labour Department offices in Wan Chai, Alvin Poon Hee-chung said the former employees would receive the unpaid wages in full on Monday. He also said the paper would hire 100 more editorial department staff and promised employees would receive salaries on time in future.
'We will prepare cashier orders for the former employees and they will come to collect the money at the Labour Department offices next Monday,' he said.
'All former employees will, for sure, receive their money before the Lunar New Year.'
Mr Poon said the paper's financial situation had stabilised so the company could pay the former workers next week.
'I've been working here for two years and my work has been very tough. I am sandwiched between former workers, between the management, and I am just a messenger in this pay dispute,' he said.
The newspaper has been dogged by disputes over unpaid salaries since 2004, with staff claiming they often had to wait up to three months for their monthly wages.
'But I think the situation is better now. We will recruit 100 more people to join our editorial department in the near future in the hope of producing a paper of better quality,' Mr Poon said.
A representative of the former employees, Li Wai-man, said they were satisfied with the agreement.
'We will not take any action in the next few days and will wait until Monday to see if the paper will really deliver its promise,' Mr Li said.
'Two labour officers [from the Labour Department], members of the Federation of Trade Unions and unionist legislator Chan Yuen-han all attended the meeting, and they can be our witnesses about what has been discussed and what the paper has promised to do.
'If Mr Poon just fools us around and if the management is just telling lies again, we will take further action.'