• Sat
  • Dec 20, 2014
  • Updated: 1:21am

Kwai Tsing dock workers strike

On March 28, 2013, dock workers at Kwai Tsing took industrial action seeking a 17 per cent pay rise. The port is operated by Hongkong International Terminals (HIT).

NewsHong Kong

Container port operator 'trying to divide us'

Strikers say Hongkong International Terminals is using an offer of a HK$5,000 bonus for compliant workers to weaken solidarity

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 06 April, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 06 April, 2013, 4:17am

Strikers accused Hongkong International Terminals of trying to divide them yesterday after the port operator offered a HK$5,000 bonus to workers who performed their duties in the past week or resumed work today.

HIT's move came on the ninth day of the strike at Kwai Tsing terminals, and as the High Court allowed up to 80 strikers to return to the terminals to continue picketing.

The port operator said last night it would hand out HK$3,000 within three days to each docker who had worked in the past week and another HK$2,000 if the port's operation "returns to normal" one month later. Its statement said the arrangement applied to both contract workers and those directly employed under HIT.

A spokesman added that if a worker resumed duty today, he would receive the same money. But workers who returned later would get nothing.

According to union figures, the total number of dockers working at the sections of the port operated by HIT is about 2,300. About 500 of them are on strike. That means the offer could cost the company at least HK$9 million.

Managing director Gerry Yim Lui-fai had said the strike was costing the company HK$5 million a day.

Chan Lit-ki, a checker on ships employed by contractor Everbest, said some workers might be tempted by the offer. "But for me, [the offer] means nothing," he said. "The HK$3,000 is only equal to 10 days' salary. Why should I care?"

For me, [the offer] means nothing. The HK$3,000 is only equal to 10 days' salary. Why should I care?
Chan Lit-ki, a checker on ships

Chan criticised the company for using money to divide the workers. He said the contractor had texted him and a few colleagues, telling them to go to work last night, but they ignored the message.

Another worker, a Mr Chan who is employed by Lem Wing as a crane controller, said he expected the workers to continue to strike. "If HIT is giving out money like that, why doesn't it just increase our wage?" he said. "I won't give in. It's not like HIT is giving us HK$3,000 every month."

A fund set up to support the strike had received more than HK$2 million by yesterday, and each striker has received HK$1,000.

The Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Labour Unions refused to comment and HIT Group Employees General Union, which organised a work-to-rule campaign among workers directly employed under HIT, could not be reached for comment last night.

Meanwhile, the Communications Authority had received 1,800 complaints by Thursday about TVB programme Scoop 's reporting on the strike. Its episode on Monday received 486 complaints.

The complainants said the programme was biased, misleading and did not give enough airtime to the strikers.

TVB said it had received 47 complaints from the audience, and the broadcaster had no particular stance.



For unlimited access to:

SCMP.com SCMP Tablet Edition SCMP Mobile Edition 10-year news archive



This article is now closed to comments

hard times !
now the operator of the container terminal--the HIT (owned by Old Li and Victor Li) is using a new tactic:divide and attack----offering HK$5,000 as a bonus to those workers who turn up to work today.Yet this tactic might not work since the incident has accelerated to a social issue which arouses the concern of the Leung administration (which adopted a wait-and-see attitude at first) and most Hongkong people who care about the plight of the workers on strike and furious against the employers---the HIT (represented by Yim Lui-fei) and his so-called contractors (which he himself is one of the directors of one of them !) Lawmaker,Lee Cheuk-yan has done a good job in uniting the workers on strike and offer advice to them on workers' rights.But regrettably,the Federation of Trade Unions--the largest local trade union ( the most patriotic one) has not lent its helping hand to the workers on strike up till now----it has completely lost the trust and confidence of many member workers now ! I dare say.
hard times !
The Superman in town and his eldest son have been known for their misery and greed in doing business---grabbing the most profits in any deals and avoid spending any expenses---clearly reflected in this strike which the workers involved have long been suffering from low-pay,long working hours and poor working environment which the contractors (employed by Li's HIT) provide.The Li family remain silent up till now---the tenth day of the strike,still refusing to raise the pay of the workers on strike----how indifferent and inhumane this richest (grabbed through luck and acuteness in business plus greed and misery) family (who would rather donate money to gain fame instead of well-treating his employees !) The style of local Chiuchowese is ruthlessly demonstrated ! Shame on them indeed ! Bravo,Lee Cheuk-yan of the pan-democrats !


SCMP.com Account