The High Court on Friday ruled that dock workers could return to the Kwai Tsing Container Terminals to continue their strike under an amendment to the injunction already granted to the port operator that previously barred striking workers from entering or blocking the port operator’s terminals.
The head of the Labour Department said on Friday he hoped a meeting could be arranged between striking dock workers and the contractors that employ them as early as Saturday.
Commissioner for Labour Cheuk Wing-hing’s remarks came after a scheduled meeting was aborted on Thursday.
Hundreds of dock workers remained outside the Kwai Chung Container Terminal as their strike for a pay rise entered its ninth day. The workers have vowed to continue their action until the contractors agree to a 17-per-cent pay rise.
Cheuk said both sides had shown a willingness to settle the dispute despite Thursday’s aborted meeting.
“The most important thing is that they went to the venue, though at different times. I believe this is a step forward and shows that both sides intended to talk,” he said.
Cheuk also said his department was trying to bring the port operator, Hongkong International Terminals (HIT), to the next meeting along with the contractors.
The dockers have demanded a meeting with HIT management to help settle the dispute, but HIT has refused to get directly involved in the labour dispute.
HIT managing director Gerry Yim Liu-fai said earlier in the week that the workers should settle the dispute with the contractors, who hired them, not with the port operator.