Fearful union takes big step toward disbanding

Top News | Carine Chow 20 Sep 2021

The activist-backed Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions is set to disband after members "received threats" to their personal safety, the group says.

The union will hold a special meeting on October 3 to vote on the disbandment, but it has already stopped receiving new inquiries and hotline services. Its monthly donation program will cease next week.

Founded in 1990, the union represents 96 affiliates and 145,000 employees from sectors that include cleaning, aviation, food and beverage, education and social welfare.

But only about 80 affiliates are left since the Hong Kong Professional Teachers' Union disbanded in August.

The confederation's executive committee passed a motion on Thursday requiring a minimum of 50 votes at the special general meeting, with four-fifths supporting it to disband.

Only four committee members have yet to resign from the union, including co-founder and general secretary Lee Cheuk-yan, who is in jail for his involvement in three unauthorized assemblies.

The other three are chairman Joe Wong Nai-yuen, vice chairman Leo Tang Kin-wah and treasurer Chung Chung-fai, who will all stay to complete the dissolution of the union if the motion is passed.

At a press conference yesterday, Tang said members of the union were terrified after receiving messages that their personal safety might be at risk if they continued to run the group.

But he refused to disclose what kind of threats they received or who sent them. He also refused to say whether they had reported the threats to police.

Announcing the disbandment procedure with teary eyes, the emotional Wong said he was deeply sorry to members of the union and all Hongkongers.

"We have already tried our best to stand as long as we can, but we just can't see any more room for us to stand anymore," he said.

The union has come under fire recently by pro-Beijing newspaper Wen Wei Po, accusing it of receiving foreign funding to initiate a color revolution.

Former convener Mung Siu-tat announced on social media on Saturday that he had resigned from the union and had to urgently leave Hong Kong with his family due to "political risks."

The union's training center will also be dissolved, a move that will affect more than 1,000 students.

carine.chow@singtaonewscorp.com



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