Date: Tue, 15 Jul 97 09:13:32 CDT
From: (Nigel Allen)
Subject: Canadian Labour Congress on Hong Kong worker rights

Canadian Labour Congress on Hong Kong worker rights

Press release from Canadian Labour Congress
15 July, 1997

Here is a press release from the Canadian Labour Congress about Hong Kong worker rights. I found the press release on the Canada NewsWire web site at

I do not work for the Canadian Labour Congress, but I thought the press release might be of interest to readers of this newsgroup.

"Their word isn't good for more than a month."
      - Bob White

OTTAWA, July 14 /CNW/ - The CLC condemned the People's Republic of China's (PRC) appointed Hong Kong government for the suspension of worker rights and standards there.

Beijing notified the International Labour Organization on June 10 that it would respect all ILO standards prevailing in Hong Kong prior to the transfer of sovereignty. These include the right to organize and bargain collectively. These rights were further guaranteed by Chinese authorities in meetings with the International Confederation of Free Trade Unions (ICFTU).

"Beijing, through its appointed Hong Kong council, has suspended worker rights which they guaranteed to respect only one month ago. The People's Republic of China is 48 years old, but apparently the word of this government isn't good for more than a month,'' said CLC President Bob White.

The action against basic worker rights was taken by the Beijing appointed Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (HKSAR) made up of business people with little understanding of what genuine democracy means. The administrative region will cancel five laws which recognize unions' rights to form federations; to affiliate to international organizations; to negotiate terms and conditions with their employers; and to reinstate employees who have been dismissed solely for union activities. HKSAR suspended the rights "in order to examine their implications and to determine whether they were in the public interest.''

The leader of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions and former member of Hong Kong's elected Legislative Council, Lee Cheuk-yan, and 500 of his colleagues in the labour movement took to the street Sunday to urge that workers' rights be maintained.

"The PRC should take note of the courage of Lee Cheuk-yan and the trade union movement and recognize the rights of workers. Hong Kong's workers will not be silenced; the world will not let them stand alone,'' White concluded.

For further information: Tom O'Brien, 613-526-7425

forwarded by Nigel Allen, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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