Ex-Gurkha guards strike for wage increase

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 20 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 20 January, 2009, 12:00am

About 200 former Gurkha soldiers left their guard posts at banks, commercial buildings and warehouses yesterday in a strike for pay rises of up to 40 per cent.

Protest organiser Kumar Gurung threatened to escalate the action after negotiations with their employer G4S Gurkha Services fell through.

More than 100 workers stayed overnight outside the company's headquarters in Lai Chi Kok - including guards who were supposed to be on late-night shifts. The group said it would call for additional supporters and hoped to remove at least half of the company's 500-to-600-strong Gurkha team from work today.

G4S is one of the largest security service providers in the city, with about 4,000 employees.

The guards want their wages, currently at between HK$10,000 and HK$12,000, increased to HK$14,000. They are also calling for nine other improvements in benefits.

G4S agreed to turn all contract workers above the age of 45 into permanent staff. It was not clear how many people this involved.