Hong Kong Union Strike Averted

A Hong Kong dockers strike was averted  because external contractors for Hongkong International Terminals have agreed to pay an above-inflation 5.5 percent increase in basic salary for dockworkers in the coming year, according to the Journal of Commerce.

A statement by the Hutchison Port Holdings HIT said 95 percent of their workers have agreed to the pay rise, even though dock workers have demanded an 8.5 per cent pay rise. Last week the union threatened to organize a protest and then gradually escalate its actions, possibly culminating in a strike.

In 2013, hundreds of dock workers employed by HIT contractors went on a strike to call for higher pay and better working conditions. They initially demanded a raise of about 17 per cent. They eventually accepted a 9.8 per cent pay rise, ending one of the longest walkouts in the history of Hong Kong.

The agreement was also welcomed by the port in general that has seen steadily declining container throughput in the past few years. That decline accelerated around the middle of last year and in March throughput plummeted 13.5 percent compared to the same month of 2014.
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