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).

Dockers' plight is living hell: unionist

Joe Deakin has been visiting the strikers. Photo: K.Y. Cheng

When veteran Australian unionist Joe Deakin found out about the working conditions Hong Kong dockers had to endure, he described it as a "living hell". Deakin, assistant branch secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia, flew to Hong Kong on Monday with seven other unionists to show support for the 450 striking dockers.

Saturday, 20 April, 2013, 5:30am 1 comment

Dockers vow to continue strike despite new job offers

Striking dock workers take a break at their camp outside the Cheung Kong Center in Central, where Hutchison Whampao chairman Li Ka-shing has an office.  Photo: AFP

Dock workers hired by one closing contractor vowed on Friday to continue their strike despite being offered better-paying jobs by other contractors.

Ah Hong, a crane driver with contractor Global Stevedoring Service, said other contractors in Kwai Tsing container terminals had offered him and his colleagues a pay rise if they join them and return to work.

19 Apr 2013 - 10:06pm

Beleaguered dock contractor to close down

Dock workers press their demands outside Hutchison House in Central yesterday. The property belongs to Li Ka-shing, owner of strike-hit port operator HIT. Photo: David Wong

A dock contractor at the centre of a weeks-old pay dispute dropped a bombshell on striking dockers yesterday, announcing it would put up the shutters after June 30.

Global Stevedoring Service said it could not keep up its business any more with about three-quarters of its 170 dockers on strike for 22 days - and counting.

19 Apr 2013 - 3:44am 6 comments

Striking dockers try to meet with Li Ka-shing

Dockers protesting outside Cheung Kong Centre in Central on Thursday. Photo: David Wong

Striking dock workers marched to the headquarters of Hutchison Whampoa in Central on Thursday demanding to meet with company chairman Li Ka-shing.

18 Apr 2013 - 9:50pm 1 comment

Hutchison Port shares drop amid news of HIT's HK$100 million revenue loss

Australian unionists join local strikers in a march from the Kwai Tsing port to the Labour Department''s office in Kwai Chung. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

Shares in Hutchison Port Holdings Trust dropped yesterday to US$0.81 - the lowest since the Kwai Tsing dock strike began.

Investors pushed the price 3.57 per cent below Tuesday's closing price after research showed that the industrial action could have cost the port operator HK$100 million in revenue.

18 Apr 2013 - 4:07am

Labour unions hindered by lack of collective bargaining law

Illustration: Joe Lo

While the dockers' strike has shown the determination of some unionists, government's cosiness with bosses means scales are tipped against them. The public has rallied to the striking workers' cause, with donations of more than HK$5.3 million and shows of support in the form of protests and pledges to boycott ParknShop supermarkets which, like Hongkong International Terminals, is part of tycoon Li Ka-shing's empire.

18 Apr 2013 - 10:25am 1 comment

Give dockworkers a decent, living wage

Makeshift shelters outside Kwai Tsing Container Terminal as dock workers' strike continues. Photo: Bloomberg

At first blush, the dockworkers' strike is of no concern to those of us who are card-carrying members of the coffee-drinking, French-movie-watching middle class. But this conflict is a tragic parable of a larger-than-life struggle that reflects what kind of society we have become.

18 Apr 2013 - 3:18am

Striking dockers set up camp on Li Ka-shing's doorstep

Police officers stand by outside Cheung Kong Center in Central on Wednesday. Photo: Joyce Man

A few hours after they set up tents outside the building's main entrance in Central, contractor Global Stevedoring Service said in a statement it "honestly cannot offer [the] 20 per cent rise" demanded by the strikers.

29 Aug 2013 - 4:13am

Dock contractor Everbest sweetens pay offer

Australian unionists join local strikers in a march from the Kwai Tsing port to the Labour Department’s office in Kwai Chung. Photo: K. Y. Cheng

Tensions over a dockers' strike went down a notch yesterday as one of their contractor employers made several concessions, but no consensus has been reached yet. Organisers of the walkout would not intensify their industrial action for now, because contractor Everbest Port Services had demonstrated sincerity, said strike leader Stanley Ho Wai-hong, of the Confederation of Trade Unions.

17 Apr 2013 - 4:28am

Contractors up their offer to non-striking dockers

Dockers representatives from the Federation of Trade Unions arrive for the meeting with contractors at the Labour Department's Kwai Hing Office. Photo: KY Cheng

Two contractors at the centre of a pay dispute have made concessions at a meeting with two unions representing non-striking Kwai Tsing dock workers on Tuesday morning.

16 Apr 2013 - 9:42pm

Dockers' strike reflects squeeze on middle class

Strikers want a 17 per cent increase in their wages.

Their demand for safer, more humane working conditions aside, the dockworkers on strike are, in some way, a greedy bunch.

16 Apr 2013 - 5:39am

Striking dockers set to escalate action

Representatives of the Confederation of Trade Unions hand out cash to striking dock workers yesterday. Photo: Sam Tsang

Striking dockers vowed action with the effect of a "nuclear bomb" if talks with contractors in the dispute over their pay and conditions break down today. The threat came as a government source said the administration had set an objective of settling the dispute this week.

16 Apr 2013 - 3:35am 2 comments

Hong Kong dock strikers threaten more action

Dock workers sit inside a tent beside a paper cutout of Hong Kong tycoon Li Ka-shing during a strike outside Kwai Chung container terminal. Photo: Reuters

Striking Kwai Tsing dock workers are apparently growing impatient with the situation, threatening to escalate their action if management fails to "show sincerity" in the next round of pay talks.

15 Apr 2013 - 7:27am

Pay aside, first ensure decent conditions for port workers

Dock workers occupy a road outside Kwai Chung Container Terminal. Photo: Edward Wong

I often think that Pontius Pilate gets an unfair rap at around this time of year, as new generations of children are taught that he was largely to blame for the crucifixion of Christ, an event we now celebrate as Easter. Wasn't he just a governor sent to keep order in a rebellious foreign state?

7 Jun 2013 - 11:39am

Dockers' unions upset at unchanged pay offer

Workers held a lunch protest in Central. Photo: David Wong

Contractors' negotiations with pro-government unions bore no fruit yesterday, with one union calling a halt to the meeting as it said the contractors offered "nothing new".

13 Apr 2013 - 5:36am