Civil servants threaten strike over ongoing crisis - RTHK
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Civil servants threaten strike over ongoing crisis

2019-07-25 HKT 12:34
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  • More than 200 civil servants have signed a letter threatening to strike if the government continues to ignore public demands. Photo: RTHK
    More than 200 civil servants have signed a letter threatening to strike if the government continues to ignore public demands. Photo: RTHK
Civil servants from more than 40 bureaus and departments have issued an open letter to the government, threatening industrial action if the administration continues to ignore demands for the complete withdrawal of the extradition bill and an investigation into allegations of police brutality.

More than 230 civil servants, including civilian staff from the police force, signed the letter that is addressed to Chief Executive Carrie Lam, the Executive Council, bureau and department heads, and lawmakers.

The letter comes with photos of staff cards, with the names, photos and other personal details obscured.

The letter calls on the government to respond to the five demands of anti-extradition protesters – to withdraw the now-suspended extradition bill completely; investigate the police’s decision to fire weapons at protesters; stop all prosecutions against protesters; retract the characterisation of the June 12 protest outside Legco as ‘a riot’; and for the CE, Justice Secretary Teresa Cheng, Security Secretary John Lee and Police Commissioner Stephen Lo to step down over the controversy.

The civil servants, including some from RTHK, are also calling for an independent inquiry into the police’s use of force, and urge the government to introduce universal suffrage so that Hong Kong “becomes truly free and democratic”.

They also criticise the police’s delayed response to the Yuen Long attacks last Sunday, where armed men dressed in white t-shirts chased and beat up passengers and journalists in the area's MTR station.

The letter says the slow police response has given rise to suspicion that the government was colluding with triad groups over the attack and this has undermined people’s confidence in the force.

The attacks have led civil servants to think the government is not serving the people faithfully, but is using the Civil Service to “tear apart the society”, the letter adds.

Those behind the letter say they have taken a neutral stance so far, but have decided to “break their silence", because "as civil servants, we should respond to the public's demands reasonably".

The letter says if the government continues to ignore public views, the civil servants will organise industrial action, although no details were given on this.

A staff member from the Innovation and Technology Bureau, who signed the letter and gave his surname as Chan, told RTHK that the possible action includes working to rule or a strike.