The Confederation of Trade Unions (CTU) is calling on both employers and employees to join a citywide labour strike on Monday to protest against the extradition bill.
The group’s chairwoman, Carol Ng, said on Friday that it’s time for grown-ups to support young people who have been in the forefront of the protest against the proposed legal amendments.
The pro-democracy group advises workers to write to their employers to notify them about the planned action.
It provided a template of a letter that employees can send to their bosses to inform them that they are taking part “to fulfill their duties as citizens to this society", and ask for their understanding and support.
Ng added the letter is not intended for them to “seek permission”, but only to notify their employers about their action.
She urges workers to team up with colleagues when they talk to the management, noting current labour laws don’t offer adequate protection in relation to a strike.
Ng said that she hopes employers would let staff take the time off on that day to join an anti-extradition bill rally organised by the Civil Human Rights Front.
The group is also mobilising its affiliated unions to appeal to companies not to penalise workers for their absence, and not to deduct their welfare entitlement.
“This time it’s a historical situation between the Hong Kong society that align the employers and employees to act together to fight against this extradition law. So I strongly appeal to all the employers, do not give any hard time or disadvantages to any employees who participate in this,” she said.
The union's call follows similar appeals issued by a teachers' union, student groups and some online posts by some private enterprises.
General strike calls are almost unheard of in Hong Kong and the last time similar events took place was in 1967 when the pro-China unions went on strike against the colonial government.