The Confederation of Trade Unions on Friday called on bosses to give their staff pay rises of five percent next year, despite Hong Kong being in its first recession for a decade.
The unionists said many of the city's biggest firms remain vastly profitable and can afford generous pay rises, even if they have suffered during the last six months of unrest.
The confederation's chairwoman, Carol Ng, said inflation was at 2.9 percent for the first 10 months of the year, and higher pay could help revive the economy.
Ng said any companies that are struggling should negotiate with their employees.
"We suggest that employers talk to the unions, or the staff representatives or staff organisations, to find a win-win situation, a win-win solution," she said.