Dock strike to set off global ripple effect

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 07 April, 2013, 5:13pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

Several media outlets are covering the dock workers’ strike as it drags into a second week, underlining the huge implications the labour dispute has on international trade.

Hong Kong’s port is the world’s third busiest and is a trade hub for mainland China. For years the port was ranked the busiest for handling goods manufactured in the Pearl River Delta, but Shanghai and Shenzhen have overtaken Hong Kong, Al Jazeera reports.

The port is also regarded for its efficiency, which could change because of the walkout. Vessels are facing 60-hour delays, the New York Times reports.

Those delays will ripple across the global supply chain, adding to costs as ships are forced to reroute or to skip subsequent ports of call.

The article also points out that the strike is notable for having happened at all. Hong Kong’s port workers have rarely organised on such a large scale before.

In fact, it has led one news site to ask: Worker protests rock Hong Kong, are labour movements gaining power?

The strike involves 500 dock workers at Hongkong International Terminals (HIT). They walked out on March 28, demanding better work conditions and a 17 per cent pay rise - dockers say their wages have risen only once in 15 years. 

More coverage of the dock workers' strike


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