A firemen’s union fighting for a 48-hour work week has won the Fire Services Department’s consent to consider the proposal in the next few years, the union said on Thursday.
Until now the department has proposed cutting the work week from the current 54 hours to 51 hours, which the majority of firefighters has opposed.
Thursday’s development came after 10 representatives of the department’s Staffs General Association – which wants a 48 hour week – met senior department officials to discuss their demands.
Lee Tak-kei, the association’s chairman, said the department agreed to consider further cutting their hours to 48 a week in the next three to six years – after a transition period at 51 hours per week.
Also at the meeting were officials from the Security Bureau and the Civil Service Bureau.
Management will work out a timetable on how to implement the change, Lee said.
The association, which represents 4,500 workers, has threatened industrial action and other protests unless their demands are met.
They have already staged a work-to-rule protest, refusing to carry out clerical, cleaning or security duties.