Temporary hawkers could face prosecution if found to be operating without a license at Cheung Fat Market in Tsing Yi, where the original stall owners remain on strike, the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department (FEHD) has said.
Unknown temporary hawkers were found to be selling fruit and vegetables at Tsing Yi’s Cheung Fat Market as some stall owners questioned whether they had licence to sell goods. Fearing rent increases, stall owners began a week-long strike on Monday to protest against real estate company Link REIT’s decision to outsource management operations.
FEHD staff went to the market on Tuesday afternoon and charged several hawkers with selling frozen meat without a license, Ming Pao reported. Under the Food Business Regulation, the hawkers could now face up to six months in jail and a penalty of HK$50,000.
Cheung Fat Market Concern Group said that there were fewer temporary hawkers at the market on Wednesday morning. The stall owners protested at the legislative council on the same day.
Civic Party legislative councillor Kwok Ka-Ki voiced his support for the protesters, saying, “instead of facing the tenants, Link REIT found these temporary hawkers to conduct illegal acts.” Some stall owners say the company allowed the hawkers into the market.
“As we have seen with the stories of Siu Sai Wan and Leung King [fresh markets], if this time they do it in Cheung Fat, I believe all fresh markets will face the same fate.”
Posted by Kwok Ka Ki 郭家麒 on Tuesday, 16 February 2016
DAB legislative councillor Ben Chan Han-pan also supported the strike. “Hundreds of families are facing the possible problem of unemployment as soon as the new year starts. Hence I think their action [to protest] is forced by Link REIT.”