Some 1.1m workers affected by unrest

Top News | Cindy Wan 18 Jul 2019

Around 1.1 million workers from the construction, tourism, retail and catering industries have been affected by the social unrest, says the Federation of Trade Unions.

"Workers of these four industries are the first to suffer from the consequences brought by the violence," said chairman Wong Kwok as he urged protesters to express their opinions peacefully.

Union representatives complained at a press conference yesterday that their members have had fewer job opportunities since June 9 due to the protests.

Ng Wai-leung, a complaint officer of Hong Kong Construction Industries Employees General Union, said this is because the Legislative Council has been unable to meet to approve funding for projects after the Legco building was vandalized on July 1.

Funding approval for projects worth HK$70 billion will have to wait until Legco resumes in October, which impacts some 335,000 construction workers, Ng said.

Affected projects include the HK$16.1 billion Cha Kwo Ling section of the Tseung Kwan O - Lam Tin Tunnel, the HK$18.1 billion integrated basement in the West Kowloon Cultural District and the HK$7.7 billion Tseung Kwan O Desalination Plant.

The delay would lead to suspension of 14,300 new jobs, including preliminary works by bar benders and concrete workers. "Workers will have less job opportunities and face greater competition in the labor market for the following months," Ng said.

Meanwhile, the number of mainland group tours dropped from 7,800 tours per month between March and May to about 5,600 in June, said Professional Tourist Guides General Union chairwoman Ann Yu Li-hua.

About 80 tour guides lost work each day in June, after incoming groups fell from the previous 260 daily to 180 a day, she added. Yu said few visitors attended the June 12-16 Hong Kong International Travel Expo because people had "negative impressions" about the city.

cindymt.wan@singtaonewscorp.com

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