Hong Kong (RAE - China) - Consultation rather than bargaining (2012)

The Hong Kong SAR government has lauded tripartite committees at the industry level as useful tools for promoting bipartite voluntary negotiation. The Labour Department has set up nine tripartite committees covering catering, construction, property management, retail, hotel and tourism, logistics, printing and theatre as well as the cement and concrete industry. These committees are consultative only in nature, loose in organisation, and do not assume any legally binding responsibility to establish or promote collective bargaining mechanisms at corporate or industrial level.

The “collective agreements” that the government claims were signed in the food processing and security services industry were not known by workers in the two sectors. Nor are the industrial affiliates of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU)in these sectors aware of the existence of these agreements. As the government continues to resist collective bargaining legislation, there is no procedure and scope to define negotiations. The result is that talks in these tripartite and industrial committees tend to be on issues un-related to labour standards, with no accountability to workers in the industries.

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