Hong Kong Port Workers End 40-Day Strike

The Wall Street Journal

Hong Kong port workers accepted on Monday a 9.8% pay rise—ending their strike and averting further disruption at the world’s third-busiest container port.

“We think that it’s a victory for the workers to have successfully secured a pay rise with quite a good percentage increase—and that after our strike we got something—and also the union is strengthened,” Confederation of Trade Unions organizing coordinator Chan Chiu-wai said on Monday.

The strike began on March 28. At its height more than 450 workers for subcontractors of Hongkong International Terminals participated, making it Hong Kong’s largest industrial action for six years. Ships faced loading or unloading delays of up to three days. Many were diverted.

Workers sought a 20% rise and better conditions but later demanded a “double-digit” increase. Employers on Friday made the 9.8% offer.

Hongkong International Terminals—a unit of tycoon Li Ka-shing’s Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. said handling had been returning to normal as strikers returned and new staff were hired. Terminals were operating at 90% over the weekend, Hutchison said on Monday.

Large strikes in Hong Kong are rare because of weak unions and generally improved conditions. A 2007 strike by steel-bar benders ended after nearly 40 days following pay increases.

MIQ Logistics Comment

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