Fugitive bill: Strike actions planned on Legco debate day

June 11, 2019 16:06
As the Legco takes up a debate on the extradition bill on Wednesday, a number of businesses plan to hold strikes in a show of protest. Photo: Bloomberg

As the Legislative Council takes up second reading of extradition bill on Wednesday, a number of businesses plan to hold strikes on that day to send another strong message to the government.

As of Monday night, nearly 200 businesses and shops from different industries said they will go on strike on June 12, when lawmakers will deliberate on the Fugitive Offenders and Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters Legislation (Amendment) Bill 2019 in the full Legco house after the government bypassed a bills committee.

The list of firms joining the strike includes media outlet 100Most, van hiring services platform CALL4VAN and travel agency GLO Travel, as well as several restaurants and shops.

The strike action was called after the massive street protests on Sunday failed to make the government change its mind on the extradition bill, with authorities vowing to press ahead with the legislation despite strong opposition in society.

The office of lawmaker Fernando Cheung Chiu-hung from the Labour Party and that of lawmaker Shiu Ka-chun from the social welfare sector have also been initiating comprehensive strikes, in the social welfare and religious sectors, with Cheung urging workers of non-emergency services in both sectors to join.

More than 40 social welfare and religious groups have urged employers to allow workers to take leave and join a planned protest rally outside the Legco on Wednesday, according to an RTHK report on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, some netizens who oppose the bill called on members of the public to express their opposition on the day, with one of the suggestions being that car owners should drive their cars “very slowly” on the roads around Tamar Park, which is adjacent to the government headquarters.

Civil Human Rights Front (CHRF), which organized Sunday's massive march, said it welcomes the planned strike action.

Convenor Jimmy Sham Tsz-kit revealed that the group plans to stage a rally in the Legco’s demonstration zone at 10 am on Wednesday before deliberations on the bill begin.

According to Sham, a similar rally will be held every time the bill is discussed in Legco. If permissions for the rallies are rejected by police, the venue may be changed to the pedestrian walkways on Tamar Street.

Asked by media whether CHRF will support escalation of protests, Sham only said that the group considers the safety of the old and the young people when it organizes a large campaign.

In other comments, he said can't blame the young people who stormed the Legco complex after Sunday’s demonstration.

Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor, meanwhile, said on Tuesday that people should consider whether strike actions would do society any good.

"I urge schools, parents, groups, corporations and unions to carefully consider, if they call for these radical acts, what good would it do for Hong Kong society and our youth,” RTHK quoted Lam as saying.

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