250 social workers join strike

At least 400 people, including 250 social workers, went on strike yesterday to demand retraction of the fugitive law amendment bill.

Cindy Wan and Phoenix Un

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

At least 400 people, including 250 social workers, went on strike yesterday to demand retraction of the fugitive law amendment bill.

Some protested outside the Legislative Council and were joined by small business operators and students boycotting classes.

Welfare workers and Labour Party lawmaker Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung protested at Southorn Playground in Wan Chai.

Cheung warned that the workers would continue their strike if police again used force to clear protesters.

He said those on strike would be offering assistance to young people who were emotionally affected by the death of a protester who fell from Pacific Place on Saturday. They will also advise young protesters on what to do if they are arrested.

Another 100 people joined a strike organized by the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions whose chairwoman, Carol Ng Man-yee, led a minute's silence to pay respect to the protester who died.

An office clerk said he was not worried about retaliation from his employer, adding that if Hong Kong was damaged by the amendment he would no longer have a stable job.

People from other trades joined protesters outside Legco.

A woman, surnamed Lee, who owns a wedding service company said she had stopped doing business and stayed overnight at the protest zone outside Legco.

She would stay until Carrie Lam withdrew the bill, dropped charges against the protesters and stepped down.

Two university students, Chan and Lam skipped their summer internship to join protests on Tim Wah Avenue.

Lam said the chief executive's apology did not meet any of the demands made by protesters -- and she did not mention the one who died.

"She did not withdraw the bill, she did not apologize to the injured protesters and she did not blame the police for any of their wrongdoings," she said.

She added that she would try her best to join protests every day until the chief executive responded to demands.

Meanwhile, Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union has started a petition asking Secretary for Education Kevin Yeung Yun-hung to retract a letter sent to headmasters on June 13.

In the letter, Yeung asked schools to take action against teachers who failed to attend classes without approval.

The petition asked him to stop measures intimidating teachers who went on strike to support the protest.