Labour Unions

Do you believe in the formation of labour union at work place?

This question is not easy to answer. I believe it is not a clear cut “yes” or “no” answer in most cases. I think labour union has its justifications, while it is also one of the most disruptive establishment at a work place.

One of the most powerful labour union in the world is the “US Auto Union”. They often have labour disagreements with various different auto manufactures (General Motors, Ford, etc.), then as a result a labour strike is often called. In most cases this labour action is decided on by the management of the union; supposedly representing the membership. Although in most cases, the membership are often happy to be working rather than on strike.
Recently in Hong Kong a labour dispute arise between the ironworkers and their employers. This disagreement escalated into a major confrontation between 300+ ironworker demonstrators and the police. The ironworkers overpowered the police line into a main street, Queen’s Road, of Central district. Causing the police at the scene to call for reenforcement.

During this time I was on a tram heading to Central from Wan Chai, and our tram got stuck just entering the Central district by the horrendous traffic jam in front of Cheung Kong Center, most likely due to the police, at the scene, closing a section of Queen’s road to prevent any injuries of the ironworkers when they broke the police line.

We had no idea of the ironworkers actions and police vehicles with police reenforcement came from all directions, but they could not get through the traffic jam either. There was so many police vehicles that most people on the tram were worry that there is a riot or worst a bomb threat.

Eventually a bus driver got out of his bus and directed the traffic to make an opening for the police convoy to get through. I was in a hurry so I convinced the tram driver to let me off the tram and walked the rest of the way to my destination.

On the way I found police vehicles already parked along most of the streets surrounding HSBC Headquarters and the Legislator building. There were police running toward Queen’s Road, obviously exited about something. Now afterwards I know why they were running. They were in a hurry to backup their comrades at the ironworkers demonstration stopped at Queen’s Road Central and Ice House Street.

I do not see the need for the ironworkers to be demonstrating in Central on a Saturday afternoon. In the past three days the Hong Kong media had already reported on their dispute with their employers, and majority of the public already knows about their complaints. I most definitely do not agree with their actions of turning their demonstration violent and over powered the police who were accompanied them on their demonstration from Kowloon to Central government Labour Department.

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