Hong Kong dock labour dispute takes fight to newspaper pages
Dock workers and the strike-hit port operator both placed advertisements in several newspapers on Monday as the labour dispute has stretched on for nearly a month.
The advertisement by the strike organiser, Union of Hong Kong Dockers, justified its demand for a pay rise of about 20 per cent because of inflation and “exploitation” in the last 18 years.
For example, the advertisement said, dock workers earned HK$1,456 for a 24-hour shift in 1995, but would now earn only HK$1,315.
It also rebutted Canning Fok Kin-ning’s claims on Saturday that the dockers work 24-hour shift voluntarily.
“[Fok] either did not know the ordeal the dockers face or he twisted the facts,” the union advertisement said.
Fok is group managing director of Hutchison Whampoa, parent company of the port operator Hongkong International Terminals (HIT).
The advertisement by HIT, which also appeared in the South China Morning Post, said it doubted whether any companies in Hong Kong would be capable of offering the pay rise the stikers are demanding.
Meanwhile, representative Dick Wong of contractor Everbest Port Services called for the resumption of talks with the strikers, even though another contractor, Global Stevedoring Service, has made it clear it would not take part in any more negotiations.