'Fearful' RTHK staff protest

Top News | Flora Chung 19 Jul 2016

More than 100 Radio Television Hong Kong employees dressed in black for yesterday's staff awards ceremony to protest against what they say is the delayed promotion of acting assistant director Kirindi Chan Man-kuen.

The protest was staged amid fears there are political reasons behind the delay.

Holding placards with "disorder of annual promotions provokes much confusion" and "doubts have arisen as there are no standards," the staff staged the protest as director of broadcasting Leung Ka-wing delivered his speech.

Some even carried their placards on stage when receiving their awards.

Leung said he appreciated Chan's determination but refused to comment on the delay.

Chan, the television department head, thanked her colleagues for being unselfish and fearless in their endeavors after the launch of RTHK's free-to-air Digital Terrestrial Television services in 2014.

Chan, who has worked for the station for nearly 30 years, took up the position of acting assistant director of television and corporate business in May last year.

In view of her long service at RTHK, Chan was deemed by the union as a "very suitable" candidate for the assistant director position, and staff found it "unusual" that she had yet to be promoted after more than a year in office.

Union spokeswoman Amy Wong Nga-man, said Chan was appointed as acting assistant director "for administrative convenience." But it only took senior management about a year to confirm if the appointment will be permanent.

She said Chan had failed twice in 14 months to pass the selection board's assessments and she feared that Chan may not be promoted because of "her uncooperative attitude on several sensitive political issues" ahead of the Legislative Council and chief executive elections.

Wong said the letter issued to the union by Leung last week, which had 26 Chinese words, failed to address the union's questions. "Why isn't the appointment of Chan confirmed? Is management denying our work performance or contribution that we have made over the past year after we have taken over ATV's analogue spectrum?" Wong asked.

She noted the uncertainties surrounding Chan's position had made the staff anxious. "We are afraid management will appoint someone not familiar with the operation to lead the department. It would greatly affect our morale if that was the case," Wong said.

In an open letter, the union said it only took three months for another senior manager of the same grade to be promoted. It requested a meeting with Leung tomorrow.

"In fact, just now, the head of broadcasting also expressed appreciation of the performance of Chan. So that increases our doubts because she is doing a really great job but she's still not getting the promotion. So our question is why, why, why?" Wong said.

The night ATV went off air on March 31, Chan was the one who took over ATV's two analogue spectrums at Tsz Wan Shan transmission station and activated the new channels on behalf of RTHK.

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