Tag Archives: Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU)

Stop Violence Against Domestic Workers! Respect Migrant Workers’ Rights!

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To mark today’s International Migrants Day, almost a hundred Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong belonging to the Progressive Labor Union (PLU-SENTRO-IDWF) trooped to the consulates of various migrant sending countries and the Hong Kong Central Government Offices.

Joining the Filipino trade unionists in picketing the consulates of the Philippines, Thailand and Nepal, as well as the HKCGO, were members of the Coalition for Migrants’ Rights (CMR), Federation of Asian Domestic Workers’ Unions (FADWU) and the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU).

“For far too long, migrant workers, particularly migrant domestic workers, continue to toil under slave-like conditions,” Sheila Estrada, chairperson of PLU, said, urging for “enough of violence, enough of discrimination, it is high time for migrant workers everywhere to be respected as workers, as human beings.”

Around 3 percent or 320,000 of the Hong Kong population is composed of foreign domestic workers, in which 50 percent are from the Philippines, 47 percent from Indonesia, and the rest from Thailand, Burma (Myanmar), Bangladesh, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

The rally highlighted the call for all countries to ratify and fully implement Convention No. 189 (Decent Work for Domestic Workers) of the International Labor Organization (ILO).

In addition, the PLU called on the Philippine government to live up to its promise of ensuring that migration would truly be just one – not the primary – of the many employment options of the Filipinos.

“President Aquino is at the homestretch of his 6-year term, and yet we haven’t seen any policy change that would ensure full employment in the Philippines,” Estrada said.

“Instead of jobs creation, what we see is the continuing destruction of decent and regular jobs, where various forms of precarious work becoming more prevalent, even among public sector workers,” she added.

The PLU said that as long as there is no full and decent employment in the Philippines and its much-vaunted economic growth continues to fail to generate the much-needed quality jobs, millions of Filipinos would be forced to seek the proverbial greener pastures abroad.

PLU is an affiliate of the domestic workers’ union under the HKCTU as well as the global union International Domestic Workers Federation (IDWF). On the other hand, PLU’s mother organization in the Philippines is the national labor center Sentro ng mga Nagkakaisa at Progresibong Manggagawa (SENTRO).

Solidarity with pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong!

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#DemocracyNowHK Nagkaisa activists trooped to Chinese Consulate in Manila in support of Hong Kong people demanding democratic reforms

Statement from the Global Campaign to Dismantle Corporate Power

We the members of the Global Campaign Dismantle Corporate Power and Stop Impunity, representing various social movements, trade unions and civil society organizations around the world are one with the people of Hong Kong who are now demanding democratic reforms in the territory.

We condemn the violent measures taken by the Hong Kong Authority in its attempt to break the protest last Sunday. Using brute force against unarmed and peaceful protesters will have tremendous repercussions to Hong Kong – and China – and should not be tolerated and ignored by the international community.

We recall that a central part of the agreement in the 1997 handover of Hong Kong from its former British colonial ruler to China was that the territory’s citizens would be able to – for the first time – freely choose their leader (called chief executive) by 2017. However, the Chinese authorities are now reneging on their promise when they declared last August that only those vetted by Beijing would be allowed to participate in the 2017 elections.

We are aware that such a decision would lead to another form of a sham “election” not unlike the current system where the Chief Executive is “elected” by a 1,200-person “committee” filled with Beijing sycophants and lackeys – hence both forms are fundamentally undemocratic and elitist as the vast majority of this handful of “voters” and “candidates” are effectively pre-selected by Beijing.

The Chinese government, as well as the Hong Kong authorities, need to end the crackdown against peaceful assemblies and protest and respect the right of the protesters to assemble and to raise their grievances and democratic demands. The government and the Hong Kong administrators should also introduce universal suffrage and give Hong Kong citizens the right to vote as well as the right to field and select their own chosen candidates in the election for Hong Kong leaders. Lastly, Chief Executive CY Leung needs to take responsibility for the violent and uncalled-for dispersal of student activists and other protesters last Sept. 28, and resign immediately.

We stand in solidarity with the protestors and condemn the ongoing state repression in Hong Kong.

To take action please sign this petition created by the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions: http://www.hkctu.org.hk/web/en/online_petition.html?id=6

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Solidaridad con las protestas por la democracia en Hong Kong!
Declaración de la Campaña Mundial para Desmantelar el Poder de las Transnacionales

Nosotros, los miembros de la Campaña Mundial para Desmantelar el Poder de las Transnacionales, representando a diversos movimientos sociales, sindicatos y organizaciones de la sociedad civil de todo el mundo somos uno con el pueblo de Hong Kong que ahora están exigiendo reformas democráticas en su territorio.

Condenamos las violentas medidas tomadas por la Autoridad de Hong Kong en su intento de romper la protesta el domingo pasado. El uso de la fuerza bruta contra los manifestantes desarmados y pacíficos tendrá enormes repercusiones para Hong Kong – y China – y no debe ser tolerado e ignorado por la comunidad internacional.

Recordamos que una parte central del acuerdo de entrega de Hong Kong de su antigua potencia colonial británica a China en 1997 eraque los ciudadanos del territorio serían capaces de – por primera vez – elegir libremente a su líder (llamado Jefe del Ejecutivo) en el año 2017 . Sin embargo, las autoridades chinas están incumpliendo su promesa cuando declararon en agosto pasado que sólo a aquellosaprobados por Pekín se les permitiría participar en las elecciones de 2017.

Somos conscientes de que una decisión de este tipo daría lugar a una otra forma de farsa “electoral” sin diferencia del sistema actual en el que el Jefe del Ejecutivo es “elegido” por un “comité” compuesto de 1200 personas lleno de aduladores y lacayos de Pekín. Por lo tanto, ambas formas son fundamentalmente antidemocráticas y elitistas pues la gran mayoría de este puñado de “votantes” y “candidatos” son efectivamente preseleccionados por Pekín.

El gobierno chino, así como las autoridades de Hong Kong, tienen que parar la represión contra las reuniones y protestas pacíficas y respetar el derecho de los manifestantes a reunirse para plantear sus quejas y demandas democráticas. El gobierno y la administraciónde Hong Kong también deben introducir el sufragio universal y dar a los y las ciudadanas de Hong Kong el derecho de voto, así como el derecho a seleccionar a sus propios candidatos en las elecciones para los líderes de Hong Kong. Por último, el Jefe del Ejecutivo CYLeung tiene que asumir la responsabilidad por la dispersión violenta y fuera de lugar de los activistas estudiantiles y otros manifestantesel pasado 28 de septiembre, y renunciar de inmediato.

Estamos en solidaridad con los manifestantes y condenamos la represión estatal en curso en Hong Kong.

Para actuar, por favor firmen esta petición creada por la Confederación de Sindicatos de Hong Kong: http://www.hkctu.org.hk/web/en/online_petition.html?id=6

NAGKAISA pickets Chinese embassy; backs HK’s general strike, prodemocracy protests

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NAGKAISA members rallied today in front of the Chinese embassy’s consular section in Makati City to air their support to the general strike of Hong Kong’s trade unions and the week-old massive pro-democracy protests rocking this prosperous semiautonomous city of China.

Part of the worldwide network backing the Hong Kong pro-democracy movement, the NAGKAISA leaders blasted China for its “dogmatic refusal” to respect the Hong Kong citizens’ right to universal suffrage or the right to vote and be voted, as well as its role in the violent attempt to disperse the protesters last Sunday.

Rally leaders said that the uncalled-for police assault using tear gas and pepper spray against a peaceful protest, where at least 59 were injured and 89 arrested, has in fact backfired on the authorities as it prompted more people to join the demonstrations – initially led by the Hong Kong Federation of Students – who now swelled to tens of thousands under the banner of the broad Occupy Central movement.

The Sept. 28 dispersal also prodded the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) to call for a general strike on Oct. 1 coinciding with the 65th founding anniversary of the People’s Republic of China.

Heeding HKCTU’s call were trade union members from the ranks of teachers, dockers, beverage employees and from other industries as this Hong Kong’s largest labor center stated that “to defend democracy and justice, (the workers) cannot let the students fight the suppression alone.”

NAGKAISA also lauded HKCTU as actually the “backbone of the multisectoral democracy movement in Hong Kong” even before the former British colonial ruler handed Hong Kong back to China in 1997.

NAGKAISA activists handed the consular office a letter* urging the Chinese and Hong Kong authorities “to respect the right of the Hong Kong protesters to peaceably assemble and to raise their grievances and democratic demands, and to refrain from resorting to violent and other retaliatory measures.”

They also warned that “ruthless repression à la Tiananmen Square in 1989 will have tremendous global repercussions to China and will no longer be tolerated and ignored by the international community.”

Included in the letter was the demand of the Hong Kong protesters for Leung Chun-ying to step down as the city’s chief executive “for his dismal leadership and for his role in the violent suppression of dissent and prodemocracy protests.”

The protesters revealed that part of the deal in the 1997 handover was that Hong Kong citizens would be allowed to vote for their leader – called chief executive – in 2017; but China’s government reneged on its promise when it declared last August that only those vetted by Beijing would be allowed to become “candidates” in the election.

“It would be another form of a sham ‘election’ like the current system where the chief executive is ‘elected’ by a 1,200-person ‘committee’ filled with Beijing sycophants and lackeys, thus, both are downright undemocratic and elitist,” NAGKAISA said in its letter.

NAGKAISA reiterated that universal suffrage and other basic democratic rights are not incompatible with an autonomous or Special Administrative Region (SAR) setup like in Hong Kong.

“They will even bolster the ‘one country, two systems’ model for the post-British Hong Kong that China supposedly adheres to, and will eventually benefit Hong Kong and mainland China, as well as the rest of the world,” NAGKAISA leaders declared.

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3 October 2014

*HIS EXCELLENCY ZHAO JIANHUA
Ambassador to the Philippines
Embassy of the People’s Republic of China
Makati City

Dear Mr. Ambassador:

We represent the general membership and leadership of NAGKAISA, the broadest labor coalition comprising 80% of all the organized workers in the country.

We are one with the people of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU), Hong Kong’s top independent trade union center even before the territory’s handover from the UK to China.

Mr. Ambassador, allow us to freely express NAGKAISA’s utmost concern in the current social upheavals in Hong Kong, China’s foremost special administrative area. We respectfully urge the Chinese government as well as the Hong Kong authorities to respect the right of the protesters – who include our colleagues from the HKCTU and other Hong Kong-based NGOs – to peaceably assemble and to raise their grievances and democratic demands.

We condemn the violent measures taken by the Hong Kong Authority in its attempt to break the protest last Sunday. Using brute force against unarmed and peaceful protesters will have tremendous repercussions to Hong Kong – and China – and definitely will not be tolerated and ignored by the international community.

In particular, NAGKAISA wishes to present the following demands to the Chinese government and the Hong Kong administrators, through the Embassy of China here in Manila:

(1) End to the crackdown against peaceful assemblies and protest actions.

(2) Immediately release all arrested protesters and guarantee their basic human rights.

(3) Implement universal suffrage or the right to vote of Hong Kong citizens, including fielding and selecting their own chosen candidates in the election for Hong Kong leaders.

(4) Resignation of Chief Executive CY Leung for him to take responsibility for the violent and uncalled-for dispersal of student activists and other protesters last Sept. 28.

In the spirit of free and responsible exchange of even opposing ideas, thank you for giving us this opportunity.

Sincerely,

NAGKAISA Convenors