Six employee representatives at a committee that is looking into the issue of standard working hours have threatened to quit the panel if the government fails to act on their suggestions soon.
The six members — Leung Chau-ting, Ng Chau-pei, Chau Siu-chung, Wong Siu-han, Charles Chan Yiu-kwong and Chan So-hing — are demanding that the government table a legislation this year on standardizing the working hours, Commercial Radio reported.
If authorities fail to put forward a proposal, the members say they will quit the Standard Working Hours Committee (SWHC) in a show of protest.
The workers’ representatives also said that they will oppose any bid to replace Standard Working Hours with the so-called “Contractual Working Hours”.
SWHC chairman Leong Che-hung, meanwhile, called on all parties to reconcile their differences and work out a solution on the issue.
If the employee representatives quit the panel, it won’t do be in anyone’s interest, he said.
Leung added that proposed legislation of contractual working hours will not necessarily rule out the regulation of standard working hours.
Reviews can always be conducted to determine if there is enough labor protection, Leung added.
Responding to the chairman’s comments, Leung Chau-ting said it does not help either for the six employee representatives to just sit and wait.
“What can we do if we see that the meeting agenda is simply about moving away from legislation on standard working hours,” Leung told ATV news.
Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung was quoted by TVB as saying that all parties involved should remain calm and that it would be a pity if someone leaves the panel.
Cheung added that it may be difficult to implement a one-size-fits-all standard working hours rule as the operational models of different industries vary considerably.
The SWHC is set to hold another meeting by the end of this month.
The worker representatives said they will decide on their attendance after determining whether the government will put forward any concrete legislative proposals.
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