The Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) is angered by developments in Hong Kong, where hundreds of dockworkers are on strike demanding better pay and decent conditions from global stevedoring giant, Hutchison Port Holdings (HPH).
|[Picture: On the Picket Line, Workers complain of poor salaries and conditions including not being allowed to use the bathroom on long shifts]|
Since the beginning of the strike on 28 March 2013, hundreds of dockworkers and concerned members of the community have been camped out on the road in front of the Hong Kong International Terminal (HIT) container terminal, which is owned by Hutchison Port Holdings Trust (HPH Trust), and Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-Shing.
“These workers are attempting to safeguard their jobs while HIT management adopts Orwellian tactics and attempts to avoid paying their workers decent wages and provide safe working conditions," MUA National Secretary and International Transport Workers' Federation President, Paddy Crumlin said.
"This is a united call from MUA members across the country. What we want to say to the bosses at the Hong Kong International Terminal is: respect your workforce, drop the bullying tactics and let's put this whole sorry chapterbehind us."
The workers are demanding a 20 percent pay raise to make up for pay cuts in past years, but subcontractors supplying labour to port operators are only offering 5 percent.
Hutchinson operates 12 berths at four of Hong Kong’s nine container terminals.
The ITF has been calling on HIT to put an end to its subcontractors’ exploitation of outsourced dockers who are earning less for working longer, and to discuss the reinstatement of the hourly overtime rate for contracted dockers.