Hong Kong (RAE - China) - Union leader dismissed by airline catering company

On 9 March 2017 LSG Sky Chefs fired Ng Chi-Fai, a chef and the chairperson of the Hong Kong Chefs’ Union.

Ng Chi-Fai joined the company in 2015, and in the same year established the union. Under his leadership the union called for legislation to regulate working hours, and protested against food and beverage corporations Maxims and Cafe de Coral.

Ng Chi-fai was twice reassigned in response to his activism. In April 2016 together with other chefs, he pressed for the payment of arrears for overtime work. They succeeded, but in retaliation the company moved Ng from his former workplace in Tseung Kwan-O, where he lives, to the Kwai Chung port area much further away. He was put on rubbish disposal duties, which was not part of his contracted tasks as a chef. In November 2016 he was reassigned again after participating in the march against Beijing’s interpretation of Hong Kong’s Basic Law, and sent to work at the headquarters of the state-owned Bank of China.

Ng said the grounds given for his dismissal on 9 March were a “poor attitude”, even though he had a good work record. Four days before his dismissal, on Sunday 5 March, Ng had attended a public forum on the Hong Kong’s Chief Executive’s election and asked one of the candidates, Carrie Lam Yuet-ngor, about her position on standard working hours. There is no legally specified standard working week in Hong Kong and this has long been a campaign issue for the trade unions. After the forum he was called to meet LSG Hong Kong’s General Manager Sam Yau, who told Ng he was fired.

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