Trade unions may be revoked if violated the national security law

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Authorities will step up regulation of unions under the national security law, and would not rule out revoking registration of some groups, Secretary for Labour and Welfare Law Chi-kwong said.

In a blog yesterday, Law wrote that trade unions registered under the Trade Unions Ordinance were classified as social organizations according to the national security law, and that the Labour Department had the responsibilities to supervise and regulate all unions. 

Law said the Registry of Trade Unions under the Labour Department would take follow-up action if the unions were believed to have violated the Ordinance. 

He added that the follow-up work against the trade union could be carried out even if the authorities had not received any complaints. “The Labour Department has the responsibilities to  follow up proactively based on the information at hand.”

The minister said the Labour Department would follow the government’s strategies and introduce new measures to raise trade unions officers and members’ awareness for national security and relevant regulations.

Since the end of 2019, trade unions mushroomed in Hong Kong as the number of registered trade unions increased from 917 unions in the end of 2019 to 1,400 unions by the end of 2020, marking an increase of 54 percent. In total, the Registry of Trade Unions received 4,289 applications for setting up new trade unions.