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Support with Hong Kong dockers grows in third week of dispute whilst negotiations end without agreement
11 April 2013
6000 people have now joined the ITF and the ITUC in expressing graveconcern over the ongoing dispute involving dockers at the Port of HongKong.
Members of the public have joined ITF-affiliated unions from around the world in sending messages of protest to Hong Kong International Terminals (HIT), a subsidiary of global network terminal (GNT) operator Hutchison Port Holding (HPH), which is currently preventing employees from the Union of Hong Kong Dockers (UHKD) from exercising their fundamental right to strike.
Workers from Kwai Chung Terminal walked out on 28 March after HIT failed to enter into dialogue with the union over issues of health and safety, working conditions including degrading and unhygienic environments, the need for pay parity between directly employed and subcontracted workers and the exploitation of outsourced workers. Subsequently HIT has successfully sought injunctions banning full scale industrial action. The court did stipulate however that strike action in limited numbers and designated areas could goahead.
This week ITF president Paddy Crumlin joined striking workers during a solidarity mission to Hong Kong where he commented: “Hutchinson should be ashamed that workers under their contract are being treated little better than caged animals. The abuses must stop and the employers need to show that they are committed to ending the exploitation of outsourced dockworkers.”
General secretary of the ITUC Sharan Burrow added: “This massive show of support demonstrates that’s it is not just unions who care about the welfare of workers. Communities, students, workers from other industries; they’re all behind the Hong Kong dockers in this dispute.”
The ITF has been informed that negotiations with HIT and two HIT contractors Global Stevedoring Service and Everbest ended today. HIT and the contractors, whose service may expire in June, walked away from the two day meeting after refusing to discuss recognition of UHKD.
Get the latest on the dispute and view pictures from the picket line: www.itfglobal.org/campaigns/campaigns-3714.cfm
Join the thousands supporting the Hong Kong dockers: www.labourstartcampaigns.net/show_campaign.cgi?c=1778
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