World Economy

Hong Kong Trade Union Demands 6% Pay Rise

Carol Ng (2nd L), joined the crowd calling  for an appropriate pay rise.Carol Ng (2nd L), joined the crowd calling  for an appropriate pay rise.

The second-largest workers’ union in Hong Kong on Sunday called for a salary increase of at least 6% across all industries, in line with the government’s economic growth forecast being raised to 3.7% from 2.5%.

The Confederation of Trade Unions said its proposed pay rise for 2018 was based on the revised official growth expectation, which was higher than the initial 2.5%. This was also beyond the 2.2% projected growth of the consumer price index, a gauge for living costs, CNA reported.

Carol Ng Man-yee, chairwoman of the confederation, which comprises 95 trade unions covering about 190,000 employees, said the salary increase of 3.5% suggested by the Institute of Human Resource Management in November was too low.

“They didn’t take into account inflation rates, and instead offered a number that would please most employers,” Ng said.

The confederation also found that local enterprises had been enjoying modest to remarkable revenue growth as markets picked up. It said the government’s business prospect survey conducted in the fourth quarter showed that all 12 selected trades held a positive outlook for the future, with IT, banking, insurance and real estate being the most optimistic.

Meanwhile, bus drivers working for Citybus, KMB and New World First Bus, called for their basic salaries to be raised by counting variable components. Citybus and the New World First Bus are both subsidiaries of NWS Holdings Limited.

Hui Hon-kit, president of Citybus Employees Union, said that out of the average monthly income of HK$14,569 ($1,867) for drivers, about HK$2,000 to HK$3,000 was based on service quality, attendance and safety records, as well as their professional qualifications.

“These components are not considered part of the basic salary, which is the subject of our wage negotiation,” Hui said.


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