Speech to Dock Strikers
Dear fellow workers, unionists, ladies and gentlemen,
We are all greatly concerned about the issue of dock strike these days. Firstly, please allow me to show my deepest thanks for you all for attending today’s forum. Your presence conveys the message of sincerity to seek solutions with us, as well as your understanding of our hard situations. I am deeply grateful.
If I were a docker at this moment, I probably would have reacted in the same manner, or hold the same critical views about HIT. But I need to use this opportunity to address, to make it clear that why we chose to act as we did. We, HIT, really had nothing to do with the employment of contract workers. That is, we have no contractual relationship with the workers. That’s why although we understand the hard times the workers are enduring, and we also want to solve the problem as quickly as possible, however, we don’t have the ultimate authority to make promise or dictate how much your salary could be raised because the workers are not on our payroll. So all the things we could do is trying to help prompt the meeting between workers and the contractors. And we’d like to talk to workers also. The interest of the workers always remains topmost in my priorities as a leader, even though that is contractors hired them. I have directed all the departments of HIT to embark immediately to negotiate with relevant parties. We really wish that we could act as the safeguard of workers, helping them get the right that they deserve.
On the other hand, I personally feel pained to see the sharp decrease in transport traffic of the dock these days, and what’s more, Hong Kong’s priceless reputation as a free port, for the efficiency and reliability. The worlds third busiest container port is being crippled and the widespread shipping is delayed. The strike has driven some shipping companies and cargo owners switched to offload at Yantian