Hong Kong (RAE - China) - No recognition of collective bargaining rights (2010)

Collective bargaining is neither promoted nor encouraged by the authorities, and employers generally refuse to recognise unions. Although almost 25 % of the workforce is unionised, unions are not strong enough to force management to engage in collective bargaining. Thus, less than 1% of workers are covered by collective agreements, and those that do exist are not legally binding. Without legal protection to guarantee these rights, workers are subject to the arbitrary and unilateral actions of employers and as a consequence are denied job and income security.

The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU) is consistently excluded from the LAB, the tripartite consultative body established by the government, unlike pro-government union federations. This exclusion means it is denied the right to participate in tripartite negotiations on labour laws and policy and 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-democratic Confederation of trade unions HKCTU and the pro-Beijing Federation of trade unions. Hong Kong is one of the few developed economies without legislation on maximum working hours or minimum wages. After a long campaign by the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions the government has finally agreed to draft a minimum wage bill but is still seeking to exclude foreign domestic workers.

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