- Title: CHINA: Hundreds rally in supports of striking dock workers in Hong Kong
- Date: 19th April 2013
- Summary: HONG KONG, CHINA (APRIL 19, 2013) (REUTERS) PEOPLE RALLYING IN HONG KONG'S CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT OUTSIDE HEADQUARTERS OF ASIA'S RICHEST MAN, LI KA-SHING PEOPLE TYING RED HEADBANDS ON THEIR FOREHEADS CROWD GATHERED VARIOUS OF CROWD BEHIND FLAG FOR HUTCHISON WHAMPOA LIMITED OWNED BY LI VARIOUS OF PEOPLE CHANTING SLOGANS VARIOUS OF STRIKING DOCKER WITH 25 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE, YICK KWOK-KIT, SHOUTING AND PUMPING FIST IN AIR BANNER READING (English): "WORKERS UNITE" (SOUNDBITE) (Cantonese) STRIKING DOCKER, YICK KWOK-KIT, SAYING: "I don't think my worker friends are tired physically or mentally. Instead, we have a stronger will to fight, because so many people in the public support us. Our donation has reached five million Hong Kong Dollars ($644,000 USD). Five million HKD - this is not a small amount." VARIOUS OF LEGISLATOR AND ACTIVIST "LONG HAIR" LEUNG KWOK-HUNG BOWING TO THE PUBLIC ON STAGE VARIOUS OF CARDBOARD DEPICTING LI AS DEVIL VARIOUS OF MAN HOLDING CARDBOARD SIGN SHOUTING VARIOUS OF POLICEMEN AND DOCK WORKER (WITH RED HEADBAND) CO-ORDINATING TRAFFIC VARIOUS OF 16-YEAR-OLD STUDENT, SAMMI NG, GIVING OUT LEAFLETS (SOUNDBITE) (Cantonese) STUDENT, SAMMI NG, SAYING: "From media and internet reports, I've read that the dockers are treated unfairly. They do not get fair treatment in terms of their wages and their work conditions. So I want to come out here and support them." TENTS VARIOUS OF STRIKING DOCK WORKER SITTING IN FRONT OF TENTS SIGN READING (English): "RICHEST IN ASIA, MEANEST IN THE WORLD" ; VARIOUS OF TENTS
- Embargoed: 4th May 2013 13:00
- Location: China
- Country: China
- Topics: Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA42FYGQ7F8KKB7DYG43O5HQ5Y6
- Story Text: Up to 1000 people ignored heavy rain to rally with a group of striking dock workers in central Hong Kong on Friday (April 19) night.
Some 450 dock workers have been on strike for 23 days over pay and working conditions, with around 100 of them having camped outside Hongkong International Terminals (HIT) headquarters since Wednesday (April 17).
The workers, who say their pay has remained unchanged for ten years, seek an increase of about 20 percent from contractors who supply workers for port operator Hongkong International Terminals (HIT), a unit of Li's Hutchison Whampoa.
They outright rejected an earlier seven percent pay offer.
Many of the striking workers, such as Yick Kwok-kit, who has 25 years experience, had previously been camping outside the terminal since March 28 but on Wednesday moved outside the Cheung Kong Centre to "be more visible and pile on pressure".
"I don't think my worker friends are tired physically or mentally. Instead, we have a stronger will to fight, because so many people in the public support us. Our donation has reached five million Hong Kong Dollars ($644,000 USD). Five million HKD - this is not a small amount," said Yick.
Union leader Stanley Ho said the strike fund has collected $5.6 million HKD ($721,000 USD) Pro-democracy legislator, Leung Kwok-hung, who has famously said he refuses to bow to the government, bowed to the cheering crowd 23 times symbolising each day of the strike.
The striking dock workers were joined by lawmakers, labour groups, students and Hong Kong residents sympathetic with the strikers.
"From media and internet reports, I've read that the dockers are treated unfairly. They do not get fair treatment in terms of their wages and their work conditions. So I want to come out here and support them," said 16-year-old student, Sammi Ng, who was handing out pamphlets.
Protesters urged Asia's richest man, Li Ka-Shing, who controls HIT to hold talks with the dockers' union over their demands.
HIT has left it up to contractors and strikers to negotiate, which had angered the unions.
Hong Kong, the gateway to mainland China's manufacturing heartland, is the world's third-largest port, after Shanghai and Singapore, but the strike has diverted some traffic to the nearby Chinese port of Shenzhen, where Li also operates berths.
Cheung Bing-leung, Secretary for Transport and Housing, said delays at the terminal could be up to seven or eight days, local media reported. The volume of cargo handled by HIT stood at 86 percent of capacity, the company said on Saturday.
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