THE major trade unions are looking at the new functional constituency polls as a means of boosting the territory's weak labour movement. Legislator and core member of the Confederation of Trade Unions (CTU), Lee Cheuk-yan, said massive campaigning for the polls would strengthen links between workers and union leaders. Those elected through the functional constituencies could legitimately claim to represent people working in those businesses, he said. The major unions who have vowed to put forward strong squads for the elections include the CTU, the pro-China Federation of Trade Unions (FTU), the independent Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Labour Unions (FLU) and the pro-Taiwan Hong Kong Trade Union Council. The CTU is co-operating with the Democratic Party and the FLU to put up nine candidates for the polls. The vice-chairman of the 210,000-strong FTU, Chan Yuen-han, agreed the elections could serve as a driving force for unions to develop greater penetration among workers. But the new system might not be good news for political parties. The leader of the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment of Hong Kong, Tsang Yok-sing, said he was disappointed with the voter-registration system. He said the party initially thought it could take advantage of the low registration rate in the functional seats if a voluntary system was introduced. 'At first glance, we did think that way because we were confident of mobilising our supporters to register on the electorate rolls,' Mr Tsang said. 'With the final registration guidelines requiring all employers to register, every eligible voter in the geographical election would almost automatically become a voter in the functional constituency polls. 'This way, we are fighting the same battle as other political groups.' Since voters for the functional seats were dispersed throughout the territory, campaigning would be difficult, he said.