Hong Kong dockers embarked on a major strike a year ago. What’s the situation now? Dockers: We get to know more about the social movements through strikes, and we will never be absent from Occupy Central Exclusive special report by Inmediahk Translatio …

Hong Kong dockers embarked on a major strike a year ago. What’s the situation now?

Dockers: We get to know more about the social movements through strikes, and we will never be absent from Occupy Central

Exclusive special report by Inmediahk Translation by Carol Zhong

A year goes by, with container terminals back to peace, workers resume to their busy work to make a living. However, the idea of social movements becomes enchenched in people’s minds, and gains popularity after the Occupy Central protests. Our reporter revisited the terminals, follow-up reporting the employees interviewed one year ago, to review the improvements of treatments, and changes of their attitudes towards social movements after the strike .

Xu Peineng is a former employee of a contracting company Kao Pao, who has been in the business for fifteen years. After the company going bankrupt during the strike, he joined in MeiShi, subsidiary of another contracting company, Chueng Kong Center, working as a crane operator. During the strike last year, an exclusive media has conducted an interview with Xu for his aid to a student, Xinxin.

Join in the labor union in order to protect rights and interests

According to Xu Peineng, the working conditions and occupational safety and health have been improved since the strike. On the other hand, the labour department has strengthened the inspection, companies sent repairmen to fix the machines, and taken the initiative to understand the needs of the staff and tried to meet their working demands, such as extending the lunchtime to one hour.

Since the strike broke out, Xu has realized the significance of the labour union and joined in. “Before participating in the labour union,I could do nothing but to complain the problems only to myself. However, since then, my proposals to the labour union would have been later submitted to the labour department which would in turn get to know the complaints of workers from the labour union.”Xu said.

Pay close attention to social movements and join the July 1 march for the first time

“the Service Trade Agreement of Taiwan should be reviewed and approved item by item.” “Those workers who make a living far from their home towns need our attention. One worker in my father’s company hasn’t seen his son for four years. Although some workers are deceptive, we should concern about their situation. After all, how we act directly results in how they perform.” Xu got involved in the social movements for the first time when the terminal strike broke out last year. After strike, he started to show interest in social issues at all facets, and engaged himself in discussions of diverse policies.

Paying close attention to the benefit of out-sourced workers, Xu considered that only when the government restores the right of collective bargaining, can the interest of the workers be protected. “The labour unions overseas have the right of collective bargaining, so that they gain the privilege to negotiate with the employers. However, nowadays in Hong Kong, out-sourced workers of many sectors do not have much say, let alone negotiating with their employers. ”

Occupy Central, Count Me In

Xu also stated that, in the past, his family would watch the news by themselves. However, he would discuss current events with his wife and daughter after the strike, which has contributed to closer ties with his family members. He took to the street again to uphold democracy and justice. “I had never imagined that I would take part in the July 1st procession. In the past, I certainly would not be part of it, but now, whenever Occupy Central protests break out, I would definitely get involved in.” Xu said.

The original Chinese version is published on inmediahk. 


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Jennifer Zhang

Jennifer Zhang is USi’s China coordinator based in Hong Kong.

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