Unionists on all sides take aim

Top News | 23 Oct 2015

Worker representatives on both sides of the political spectrum demanded that Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying cancel the offsetting scheme of the Mandatory Provident Fund and legislate standard working hours, as promised in his 2012 election platform.

Leung called for patience, denying he is dragging his feet over the promised labor policies in the hope of getting re-elected for a second term.

Labour Party chairman Lee Cheuk-yan said Leung had done nothing to help workers in the past three years.

"You have promised two things in your platform. Firstly, canceling the offsetting scheme in the MPF. Secondly, the standard working hours legislation is also included in your platform," Lee reminded Leung in the Legislative Council.

Lee said time is running out, with only one Legco year left before the 2016 elections, and 1 years in Leung's term.

"Are you going to tell [people] that you need more time and it means you are planning for a second term?"

Lee added it was unlikely Leung would be able to legislate for standard working hours before his first term ends.

Meanwhile, Federation of Trade Unions lawmaker Wong Kwok-hing asked if the government will cancel the offsetting mechanism to lead the private sector.

His federation colleague, Wong Kwok-kin, accused Leung of shirking the government's responsibility by not trying to get involved in the issue.

Leung told lawmakers it will take time to solve these controversial issues, and denied he was using delaying tactics so he could be re-elected. He said a full report will be submitted to the government by the Standard Working Hours Committee in the first quarter next year.

Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin- chung said he did not believe there was a delay in implementing the standard working hours, adding it was a critical time and called on the public to be patient.

He also called on the six employee representatives not to resign from the Labour Advisory Board.

The six said they would quit if the government does not come up with concrete policies on standard working hours at the next committee meeting on Wednesday.

KENNETH LAU

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