Lee Cheuk-yan tries to take advantage of dock workers' strike

2013-04-09 04:25:02  来源:大公报

    

    The High Court last night granted an interlocutory injunction, sought by Hong Kong International Terminals, barring any individual from entering the Kwai Chung Container Terminal 6 without permission of the company.

    In the past, it was rare for the High Court to grant an injunction in a labour dispute.As Judge Patrick Hon-Leung Li pointed out, the week-long strike has already caused certain effect on Hong Kong's shipping industry.On the other hand, led and instigated by Labour Party lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan, a number of young students, members of religious groups and foreign domestic helpers' unions have also rushed into the terminal to show their "support" of the strike. The situation there has become quite chaotic and dangerous.

    Right now, the crux of the matter is in which direction the ongoing strike will be led.In particular, what a role Lee Cheuk-yan plays in the incident, a mediator, sympathizer of workers, or simply a "labour-movement charlatan" who just want to grab political capital at the expense of workers' interests by escalating the incident?In view of Lee Cheuk-yan's words and deeds in previous so-called "labour movements" led by him and in the ongoing dock workers' strike, his sympathy toward workers is phoney and his real intention is to fish in troubled waters.He has thoroughly shown his true colours as a "politician" in labour movements.All parties concerned must heighten their guard against any attempt to politicise the current industrial action.Workers in strike especially must keep their minds cool and their eyes peeled, making sure that under no circumstances should their action be made use of as an instrument to cause social instability.

    As a matter of fact, as seen from workers' complaints and appeals, it is a real fact that they work long hours doing hard labour but without any pay raise in many years.Many of them have been working in the industry for more than a decade, so undeniably they have made their contribution with their sweat and blood to the prosperity of Hong Kong's shipping industry.The terminal operator stresses that they have outsourced the business and therefore it is the outsourced contractors who should be responsible for the workers' wages and welfare.Such saying is irresponsible.Some of the outsourced contractors have already promised to increase workers' wages so that they could go back to work.This is evident that workers' demand is not excessive, which can be met by outsourced contractors.

    It is hoped that in coming days, both sides of capital and labour could settle the dispute through negotiations.Hong Kong's status as a shipping hub is hard earned.Hong Kong is facing fierce competition from Singapore and other Mainland ports.Both capital and labour should show mutual understanding and mutual accommodation based on the spirit of sailing in the same boat, so as to jointly safeguard Hong Kong's container shipping industry's advantage of high efficiency and punctuality with a great number of routes.Otherwise, the interests of both capital and labour will be damaged-as one's fall will also endanger other.That is absolutely not a wise choice.

    On the other hand, what is disgusting is that, upon learning the strike by dock workers, Lee Cheuk-yan appeared as if he had discovered a precious treasure, rushing instantly to grab "the microphone" and take over the "leadership", although he had hitherto paid no attention to the interests and hardships of shipping workers - even he himself admitted this was the first time for him to step on Container Terminal 6 and see how shabbily furnished the resting-room for workers was.Using his usual tactics of manipulation, he called out a lot of "sensational" slogans, pointing a finger at Li Ka-shing to inflame "anti-business" and "anti-the-rich" sentiments while posing himself as the incarnation of justice.Such words and deeds remind people of Lee Cheuk-yan's performance during a strike by structural iron and steel workers in construction industry several years ago.Led by a subsidiary trade union of the Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (FTU), the structural iron and steel workers had launched a strike demanding for pay raises.Seeing that the strike arouse wide attention in society, Lee Cheuk-yan had come forward to claim the "fruits".He had spared no pains to "go into battle bare-breasted", taking off his shirt and carrying heavy steel bars with workers to march to the Central under the sun.But just after walking a short distance, he had begun to huff and puff and withdrewn himself from the procession.Now with the dock workers' strike, it is time again for this labour-movement politician to make himself up and go on the stage.

    Yesterday, after the High Court handed down the injunction, Lee Cheuk-yan expressed his "disappointment" and claimed he would organise workers to "charge from the dock" to besiege the House of Government and Cheung Kong Center in Central.He also proclaimed to escalate the workers' strike into a "social movement".His evil intent is obvious to everyone.Workers of Terminal 6 taking appropriate actions to fight for their reasonable interests such as increase of wages will have citizens' sympathy.However, if they are led by Lee Cheuk-yan to besiege the government and Cheung Kong Centre, people absolutely won't support them.Workers must strengthen their solidarity and not be fooled by the "labour-movement charlatan".

    02 April 2013

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