HONG KONG UNIONS, STUDENTS FAIL TO SECURE BACKING FOR STRIKE

Pro-democracy labor unions and a student group in Hong Kong failed to garner enough support to hold strikes against looming national security legislation imposed by Beijing, Marius Zaharia reported for Reuters on Sunday, June 21. 2020. 


After a year of often-violent unrest, anti-government demonstrations have lost momentum due to higher risk of arrest, with recent rallies failing to receive police approval due to coronavirus restrictions on large crowds. 

A strike was intended to open a new arena of resistance, but organizers said only 8,943 union members participated in a city-wide poll, falling short of the 60,000 threshold to go ahead, even as 95% of the votes were in favor. Separately, the Secondary School Students Action Platform said it would not initiate a class boycott, as they fell short of some of their targets for in-person votes. Voting took place on Saturday and the results were announced around midnight. 

The unions represented almost two dozen industries, including aviation, transport, construction, technology and tourism. Most were formed in the past year as pro-democracy activists have spearheaded the biggest push to unionize the laissez-faire, ultra-capitalist finance hub - where collective bargaining rights are not recognized - since Britain handed the city back to China in 1997.

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