Labour groups demand higher increase in minimum wage

PUBLISHED : Friday, 28 September, 2012, 2:27pm
UPDATED : Friday, 28 September, 2012, 4:24pm

Labour groups protested against a proposed HK$2 increase in the minimum wage, at government headquarters on Friday, saying it was too little to keep them abreast of inflation.

Two separate demonstrations were staged by members of two labour groups: the People’s Alliance for Minimum Wage and the Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Labour Unions.

They called for Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying to raise the minimum wage level to HK$35 per hour from the current HK$28.

The Minimum Wage Commission, appointed to advise the government on the wage level, this week reached a consensus that it should rise to HK$30 an hour. That conclusion was reached after heated debate between commission members representing workers and employers.

The latter wanted the rate to remain unchanged at HK$28.

A member of the People’s Alliance for Minimum Wage said a HK$2-an-hour increase would provide little help to workers trying to cope with the inflation of the past two years.

The Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Labour Unions urged the government to review the wage level every year instead of once every two years, to keep abreast of price changes.

The Minimum Wage Commission will submit its recommendation to the government next month, and the Legislative Council must approve the rise.

The new rate is expected to come into force in May at the earliest.