Hong Kong: ITUC in Solidarity with HKCTU

photo: © HKCTU

The ITUC has expressed full solidarity with its affiliate the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions (HKCTU), following the highly effective general strike on 5 August.

The strike was called to protest at hundreds of arrests and violent repression by police against people participating in mass rallies in recent weeks, after thousands of young people took to the streets to oppose a proposed new extradition law with China. More than 1,000 tear-gas rounds and hundreds of “non-lethal” munitions have been fired by police, who also refused to protect innocent people who were subjected to brutal violence by government-supporting criminal gangs in Yuen Long on 21 July.

The HKCTU set out five core demands in launching the strike action:

  • Permanent withdrawal of the extradition law;
  • Release of the arrested protesters without charge;
  • Withdrawal by the authorities of their characterisation of the 12 June protests as “riots”;
  • An independent investigation into police violence and abuse of power; and,
  • Implementation of universal suffrage.

More than 300,000 workers took part in the strike, including civil service employees who were threatened by the government to dissuade them from taking action.

“The international trade union movement fully supports the HKCTU and the people of Hong Kong in their legitimate demands for respect for the rule of law and for democracy. We condemn the use of violence, repression and threats by those in power, and call for the demands set out by the HKCTU to be met in full and without delay. Despite the repression, some millions of people have joined protest actions and it is simply untenable that the authorities could continue to resist the will of the people. The only acceptable way forward is through respecting internationally-recognised human and democratic rights, not through more threats and violence”, said ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow.