Kwai Tsing dock workers strike

Striking dock workers and contractors fail to meet

Both parties fail to agree on conditions for meeting set up by Labour Department

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 04 April, 2013, 9:37pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 04 April, 2013, 11:34pm

A long-awaited meeting between striking dock workers and their employers set up by the Labour Department broke down before it even started.

The dock workers, who have been on strike since last Thursday, are asking for a pay rise from their employers, which are contractors under Hongkong International Terminals (HIT), a subsidiary of billionaire Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Whampoa.

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.

The Labour Department had arranged for the dock workers to meet with two contractors on Thursday, said labour relations officer Melody Luk.

However, the meeting never began as the parties failed to agree on the conditions of the meeting, namely whether the dock workers would be meeting the contractors as individual employees of the contractors or as part of a union.

Luk said on Thursday that she hope both sides could meet soon to solve the dispute as soon as possible

The workers are demanding a 17 per cent pay rise.