A labour union has called for a 6 percent pay rise for the coming year, after it published a survey on Sunday, indicating that over half of Hong Kong’s employees had their pay frozen last year, and ten percent had their salaries cut.
The Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Labour Unions interviewed over 11,000 employees in different sectors between August and October, and found that only about 30 percent of those polled had a pay rise in the previous year.
The union said this was mainly due to the Covid-19 situation in the SAR.
The union’s chairman, Lam Chun-sing, said many workers want a pay rise of 4 to 6 percent next year, as economic activities have gradually resumed in Hong Kong.
"For some of the industries, for example, the catering industry was under difficult times, especially in the fifth wave of pandemic. Now, the social distancing measures are relaxed and also we have dine-in services at night, so they may have a higher expectation on salary increase in the next year," Lam said.
He called for a pay rise of at least six percent for employees in the coming year.
Earlier, sources said a government-appointed committee had proposed raising the statutory minimum wage by 6.7 percent to HK$40 per hour, which might come into force next May.
Lam said employees welcomed the decision, but the government should note that the current minimum wage of HK$37.5 per hour was set in 2019.
"This means some of the grassroot workers [have not had] a salary increase for more than three years... If the inflation rate increases by a higher level, the government should review the minimum wage level immediately, instead of every two years," he told RTHK.
"We hope that the government can review the minimum wage level annually so that it can catch up with the inflation rate and also to protect the grassroot workers."