The High Court in Hong Kong has ruled in favour of extending the temporary injunction, but acknowledges the workers' right to strike.
According to the ITF, the injunction against the Union of Hong Kong Dockers (HKDU) aims to halt action at the Kwai Tsing Container Terminal in the Port of Hong Kong, where the Industrial action began on 30, March 2013. The strike is seen as a last resort measure by the union in their attempts to secure transparent, good faith dialogue with their employer Hong Kong International Terminals (HIT), a subcontractor of global network terminal (GNT) operator Hutchison Port Holdings.
Some restrictive terms have been put on the injunction. The trade union’s right to enter the workplace and strike is allowed but it has to be limited to lawful and reasonable acts and the number of strikers is limited to 80 trade union members and must take place in a designated area agreed by both parties, namely the car park inside the terminal.
The ITF and International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) have reacted jointly with ITUC general secretary Sharan Burrow commenting: “This ruling is an acknowledgment of the trade union’s right to strike. If HIT had won this case outright more employers could well have followed suit to ban workers from picketing at their workplaces altogether.”
The union wants HIT to come to the table and negotiate over issues of health and safety, working conditions and pay parity between directly employed and subcontracted workers.
In addition, the ITF is calling on HIT to take full responsibility for its subcontractors, to put an end to the exploitation of outsourced dockers who are earning less for working longer; and to return to the table to discuss the reinstatement of the hourly overtime rate for contracted dockers.
Meanwhile an ITF campaign in support of HKDU has been escalated.