Hong Kong dockers call end to strike action

  • Striking dockworkers accept 9.8% pay rise to bring to and end 40-day strike

Dockers at the Port of Hong Kong voted on Monday to call an end to strike action that had caused severe disruptions at the world’s third largest container port for over a month.

Dockworkers at the five terminals operated by Hong Kong International Terminals (HIT), a subsidiary of Hutchison Port Holdings Trust, left their posts on March 28th in demand of better pay and working conditions.

Despite seeking wage hikes of 20 percent, dockers have accepted the 9.8 percent increase offered by contractors operating in Hong Kong on behalf of HIT, according to Agence France-Presse (AFP).

In a statement, HIT confirmed that dockers had accepted the proposed pay rise and that t was “beneficial for all parties involved”.

“The workers can return to their posts, and the company can focus on restoring the port to its full operational capabilities,” the statement added.

In response to the news, Stanley Ho, secretary general at the Union of Hong Kong Dock Workers, said that they had won half the battle as the raise will also be granted to those that decided not to join the strikes.

However, a number of dockers, who, until now, claim they haven’t received a wage increase for over a decade, remain unhappy with the outcome, Chan Chiu-wai the organising coordinator at the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions told AFP.

“To be honest, not all people are satisfied with this offer, because honestly, it is quite a bit off when compared with our initial goal,” said Chan.

“Everybody understands that… after the strike has gone on for so many days, if we continue to go on, we may not get any better offers.”

Last month, officials at the Port of Hong Kong estimated that the pay dispute was costing HIT as much as US$644,000 a day.

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