Hong Kong (RAE - China) - No recognition of collective bargaining rights (2012)

There is no institutional framework for the recognition of unions and collective bargaining. Employers in general continue to refuse to recognise unions as well as refusing to implement agreements that have been negotiated. Although roughly 23% of the workforce is unionised, unions are unable to force management to engage in collective bargaining. Less than 1% of workers are covered by collective agreements, and those that exist are not legally binding. Without legal protection to guarantee these rights, workers are subject to arbitrary and unilateral actions by employers and, as a consequence, are denied job and income security.

The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) is consistently excluded from the Labour Advisory Board (LAB), the tripartite consultative body established by the government, which does however include pro-government union federations. This exclusion means it is denied the right to participate in tripartite negotiations on labour laws and policy and is excluded from bodies such as the Committee on the Implementation of International Standards, which reports to the ILO. Employers often attempt to take advantage of the disparity and political divisions among staff unions including the divide between the pro-democracy HKCTU and the pro-Beijing Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions (HKFTU).

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