Unions voice concerns about labour importation plan - RTHK
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Unions voice concerns about labour importation plan

2023-05-26 HKT 13:29
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  • Unions voice concerns about labour importation plan
Multiple labour unions voiced their concerns on Friday about the impact of the possible importation of labour on local workers' employment opportunities.

Officials said earlier that workers could be brought in for the construction and transport sectors.

A construction sector representative told an RTHK programme that about eighty percent of construction workers are worried about a possible government plan to import foreign workers.

Wong Ping, the Chairman of the Hong Kong Construction Industry Employees General Union, said workers fear the plan may affect the employment opportunities of local people.

"Hiring foreign workers is unavoidable, but when importing workers, we should try to arrange for them to work on the outlying islands or in border areas," Wong said.

The Airport Air Freight Employees' Association also opposes the government's importation of foreign workers, believing that it will undermine employment opportunities for local workers.

"Why don't we have enough staff? It's simply because the salary and benefits are not attractive, and the working environment and conditions have not improved," said Chun Hon-chung, the executive director of the association.

"The responsibilities and income are not proportional. These factors make it difficult to have an advantage and compete with other industries for labour," he added.

Chan Fung-yuen, chairman of the Motor Transport Workers General Union (Public Light Bus Branch), said the government should do more to improve the income and welfare of minibus drivers to attract local recruits first.

But Chan Chi-fai, an operating officer of a minibus company, said the hourly wage for minibus drivers has reached a rate of HKD80 to HKD90, but it's still difficult to hire.

Chan said employees of his company generally support the hiring of foreign workers, as the move could increase their rest time, and urged the government to import 1,000 to 1,500 minibus drivers.

Chief Executive John Lee said last month that the administration will announce details of plans to ease the manpower crunch in the construction and transport industries by the middle of this year.

Unions voice concerns about labour importation plan