Workers to rally for HK$2m in back pay

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 19 October, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 19 October, 2008, 12:00am

About 40 self-employed technicians who took jobs outsourced by Tai Lin Radio Services will march to the Central Government Offices today to push for five months in back pay, estimated at HK$2 million.

The technicians, who installed air conditioners or refrigerators purchased from Tai Lin, were not entitled to apply for payments from the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund because they were not employees of the chain.

Ki Chi-leung of Ka Hung Engineering Hong, one of the six contractors, said the Labour Department rejected requests for assistance. They were referred to the provisional liquidator.

'The existing ordinance has no protection for self-employed people,' he said. 'We provided our services and paid the installation cost, but there is a high chance we will get nothing. It is not fair.'

Mr Ki, who had done work for Tai Lin for more than 20 years, said he would appeal to the government.

Stephen Liu Yiu-keung of Ernst & Young, the liquidator, said the technicians were like suppliers and creditors.

Cheung Lai-ha, general secretary of the Clothing Industry, Clerical and Retail Trade Employees General Union, said: 'If the sales of assets cannot pay off the debt, they will probably get nothing.'