All On the Same Ocean 同一个海上

Solidarity with Strikers on the Hong Kong Docks 声援香港码头工人罢工


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Striking dockers reject latest offer

May 4, 2013 by
Striking dockers reject latest offer Hundreds of striking dock workers have voted down a 9.8 percent pay rise offered by the contractors which employ them at the container terminal. They are still insisting on a double-figure increase and direct talks with the employers, warning that the strike will continue until a satisfactory resolution is reached. Unionist Wong Yu-loy said the strikers were angry with the contractors for making the offer through the media. He said the employers should return to the negotiating table to discuss the pay offer as well as working conditions, health and safety issues, rest times and meal breaks. However, a spokesman for one of the contractors said it was regrettable that the workers had refused the offer, and repeated that it was final and that there would be no more talks. He also said the company had started recruiting new staff to counter the impact of the industrial action. (RTHK)


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Hong Kong Dock Workers call for global solidarity: Boycott Li Ka Shing!

《工人罷工,我們罷買:全球抵制李嘉誠商品約章》

Supporting Hong Kong Dockers’ Strike:

Global Conscience Pledge to Boycott all Li Ka Shing’s Products

1995至今,香港通帳累積高達28.5%,但香港國際碼頭(Hong Kong International Terminals, HIT)的工人月薪竟然低於18年前的水平。每當香港面臨經濟危機 HIT每每要求工人共渡時艱,單方面要求員工減薪,但經濟好轉時,HIT 卻拒絕與工人分享利潤。2013年3月28日,工人終於在忍無可忍的情況下發起罷工行動。罷工以來, HIT拒絕承認責任,直指工人乃外判公司之員工,HIT在追求利益最大化同時,也將責任轉嫁給外判商,懶理這些外判商侵害勞工權利的種種問題。作為李嘉誠全球王國下的消費者,我們強烈譴責HIT及其大老闆、亞洲首富李嘉誠罔顧企業社會責任,並願意以消費者力量,罷買李嘉誠商品,與香港HIT碼頭罷工工人並肩抗爭。

Since 1995, Hong Kong’s inflation has risen cumulatively to 28.5%, but the wages of the dockers at Hong Kong International Terminals (HIT) is surprisingly lower than the level 18 years ago. Every time Hong Kong faces an economic downturn, HIT asks for a pay cut to weather the difficult time through; whereas when there is a profit, HIT shamelessly refuses to share the profit with its dedicated employees. On 28th March 2013, the dockers no longer tolerate HIT’s greed and go on strike. During the strike, HIT shed its responsibility to its sub-contractors, claiming that those dockers were only the employees of the sub-contractors. Having only profits in mind, HIT also shifted its responsibilities to its workers, leaving them to merciless exploitation and inhumane working conditions. As the consumers of much of Li Ka-shing’s global enterprises, we strongly condemn HIT and its head, also the richest man in Asia, Li Ka-shing, ignoring corporate social responsibility. We pledge make use of the power of consumers, boycott Li Ka-shing’s products and stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the dockers at strike!

外判制度:假效率,真剝削

過去廿年,香港的公營機構及私營企業不斷把服務外判,以提高效率為名,壓榨勞工為實。基層工人為保飯碗,只好啞忍。過去18年,罷工工人的工資不增反減,工作量更因人手縮減而不斷增加。沉默下去,工人恐怕連立錐之地也失去。故此,碼頭罷工不單是反HIT的運動,更是對外判制度作出反抗。碼頭工人的成功爭取,勢令反外判的抗爭星火燎原。

The Evilness of Sub-contracting – Exploitation under the name of Efficiency

In the past 20 years, both public and private organizations in Hong Kong have gone through the tide of sub-contracting its services, intending to exploit every drop of manpower from the workers for money. Powerless as they are, the grassroots workers have no choice but to shut up and work. All their effort, nonetheless, do not earn the respect from their employers – their salaries fell and the amount of work has yet been endlessly mounting still! Silence has only proved to make the contemptible deeds of exploitation unrestrained and therefore dockers are here to fight back. This campaign aims not only to target against HIT, but also to ignite the resistance to the system of sub-contracting. It is of great significance that our success in the strike adds fuel to the battle against the sub-contracting!

工人罷工,市民罷買,齊反壟斷

是次碼頭工人罷工,不但要對抗外判制度,更是要對抗龐大的李氏王國。李氏王國在香港除了壟斷碼頭業務之外,也佔有及寡頭壟斷其它民生及消費項目的地位。當中包括長江實業、港燈、海逸國際酒店、百佳超市、Taste、豐澤、屈臣氏及和記電訊等,每個香港市民都被逼成為李氏王國中的消費者。李嘉誠作為四大地產公司之首,嚴重壟斷及炒賣,導致香港樓價位列世界首位,反抗地產霸權已成為香港社會主要的社會運動。工人罷工,提醒了我們都是李氏王國的共同受害者,工人及市民必須團結起來,反抗壟斷財閥的剝削。

Strike! Boycott! – Say No to Hegemony!

This strike also reveals an inconvenient truth – the exploitation of the dockers lay roots also to the hegemony of Li’s enterprises. Li has unimaginable control over Hong Kong’s docks, in addition to his oligarchic ownership in many other aspects of daily consumption. It includes Cheung Kong Holdings, Hong Kong Electric, Harbour Plaza Hotel, Parknshop, Taste, Fortress, Watson, and Hutchison Telecommunications. Forced is every single one of us to be the consumers of his enterprises. Li, as the top of the four giant property developers, has devoted himself into the game of monopoly and speculation. His selfish act has pushed up Hong Kong’s property prices to the top of the world, that is why anti-hegemony has become the number-one agendum of Hong Kong’s social movements in recent years. The strike has clearly reminded us that we are all the victims of the hegemony. Together we must stand together to wrestle against these giants.

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Hong Kong strike expands after 36 days! More than 100 on-shore and on-board checkers join!

Now that the strike has expanded, the Union of Hong Kong Dockers is needing to fundraise more for the strike fund.

Please contribute HERE! Thank You!

Dockers strike- May Day 2 (1)

 

Today more than 100 on-shore and on-board checkers join the strike. They are employed by Comcheung Human Resources Ltd which by now has one-third of its employees working in the terminals putting down their tools. The checkers of Comcheung complained that they were made to work 24- and 48-hour shifts to clear the piled-up cargos since the strike has broken out on 28 March. They were also promised to have their wages increased by 20% in two years. That was later reduced to 5% in 2013, believably to be the bottom line of “5+2%” held by HIT and Hutchison. Unable to secure further commitment from Comcheung about the effective date and the scale of the pay rise, more than 100 checkers joined the picket line this morning.

The fourth round of negotiation will re-convene today. Union of Hong Kong Dockers (UHKD) is asking the Labour Department to extend the negotiation to include Everbest and Comcheung as most of their employees are now on strike. The union’s bargaining power is strengthened as by now 550 dock workers are on strike for the 36th day.

More than 5000 people joined the May Day demonstration yesterday which is record-high in recent years in HK, thanks mainly to the community-wide support to the dockers’ strike. The local support group is also preparing a call for global action to boycott Hutchison’s products and retail services.

 Dockers strike- May day 3

Dockers strike- May Day


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Bangladeshi garment factory collapse kills at least 87 workers

Yet another workplace tragedy in Bangladesh’s garment industry. Not too long ago, 112 workers die in a fire in the Tazreen factory. The deject working conditions that garment workers in Bangladesh experience is being fueled by companies such as Walmart and Disney. These conditions are being justified by the industry proponents as lifting people out of poverty. They even dare to talk about how they are doing Bangladeshi women a favor here:

“Industry proponents say the garment industry has been an essential engine for the Bangladeshi economy, lifting millions of people, particularly women, out of abject poverty, even with such low wages. Today, garments represent roughly 80 percent of Bangladesh’s manufacturing exports and provide a critical source of foreign exchange that the government needs to help offset the high costs of imported oil.”

In Dec 2012, in the immediate aftermath of the Tazreen fire that killed 112, organizers in Newark and Charlestone organized a symbolic port blockade here and here. Below is the video from Bangladeshi workers who survived, entitled “So We May All Survive”