Keep the minimum wage, say Hong Kong unionists

The minimum wage should remain to protect vulnerable employees, says the Federation of Trade Unions.
By: | April 30, 2024

Scrap the minimum wage in Hong Kong? No way, said unionists, who are calling for a “reasonable and objective” discussion on the issue.

This is after Liberal Party legislator Tommy Cheung suggested scrapping the basic hourly rate to boost the city’s competitiveness.

The Federation of Trade Unions (FTU) said the statutory minimum wage, currently at HK$40 (US$5.11), is essential to protecting employees, with Kingsley Wong, FTU Chairman, stating that having a minimum wage in place is a common practice worldwide.

“The main purpose of the minimum wage is to be a policy safety net, to ensure grassroots or the most disadvantaged local employees receive appropriate protection,” Wong said.

“On the issue of the minimum wage, we should be reasonable and objective. Around the world, many countries and regions in the West and Asia have a minimum wage, so the minimum wage must be an appropriate measure then.”

Wong has also reiterated calls for statutory minimum wage to be reviewed annually, instead of once every two years.

The FTU, ahead of this year’s Labour Day, has also called on various stakeholders such as employers, architects, developers, and employees to do their part to ensure occupational safety in light of a recent string of deadly industrial accidents.

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Other demands that the FTU has demanded include local labour being given priority for any projects available, better protection for employees who have to do “invisible overtime” by staying online after official working hours, and standardised contracts of delivery platform employees, reported the