Clashes broke out on Tuesday morning between members of the Standard Working Hours Committee and a group of around 30 protesters from Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, League of Social Democrats, and Neighbourhood and Workers Services Centre.
This was the committee’s last meeting this term and the framework for the second round consultation was discussed. The demonstrators criticised the government for delaying legislation on the matter and were displeased that the committee members met despite a boycott by workers’ representatives.
They are demanding that the government come up with legislation so that the weekly working hours are set at 44, and that workers receive wages at 1.5 times the usual level when working overtime.
Committee chairman Edward Leong Che-hung was surrounded by protesters at the lift lobby on ground floor ahead of the meeting and was trapped near the staircase at one point, Now TV reported. Protesters also tried to follow Leong into the venue but failed. They then waited outside for the meeting to end.
As committee member Lau Chin-shek was leaving the building, protesters surrounded him and chanted, “Legislate for standard working hours”.
Leong planned to speak to the media following the meeting, but was repeatedly interrupted by demonstrators. Chaos erupted as Leong attempted to get into a vehicle and leave, with petitioners running out onto the road and trying to force the car door open, Oriental Daily reported. The police escorted Leong away and the protesters left soon after.
Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions Organising Secretary Ng Koon-kwan said that the consultation was a phony one and slammed the committee for making the workers wait three years only to go back to square one. Labour Party chairwoman Suzanne Wu said they will not wait any longer and therefore demanded to speak to Leong, but Leong chose to run away.