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Right To Join Trade Union

In this section:
What is a Trade Union?
Right to Join a Trade Union
Dismissal Due to Trade Union Membership or Activities
Why Joining a Trade Union?
List of Relevant Trade Unions in Hong Kong

What is a Trade Union? 
Trade union is an autonomous and democratic organisation run by the workers, which has the right to represent the workers in negotiations with the employer and the government. Unlike other workers’ organisations, trade unions can represent the workers at the Labour Tribunal. In Hong Kong, trade unions are subject to requirements established under the Trade Unions Ordinance Ch. 332. Top

Right to Join a Trade Union
Employment Ordinance establishes that all workers have the right to be a member or an officer of a trade union. All workers also have the right to form and register a trade union. Workers who are members or officers of a trade union further have the right to participate in the activities of the union. However, such participation should take place at ‘appropriate time’ – meaning outside the workers’ working hours or anytime within the working hours, provided it is agreed by the employer. Top

Dismissal Due to Trade Union Membership or Activities 
The law provides further protection for the workers who are members of trade unions, by prohibiting the employers to prevent, dismiss or punish them on the reason of their membership or activities with the unions. Any employer who is convicted of such anti-union acts shall pay for a fine between HKD 50,001 to HKD 100,000.

In the case where the worker is dismissed due to her membership or activities with a trade union, such dismissal shall be considered unreasonable and unlawful. The worker hence may apply for remedies for unreasonable and unlawful dismissal which is discussed in more details here. Top

Why Joining a Trade Union? 

  • Trade union is a good place to learn more about your rights as workers 
  • Trade union provides a good support system if you have any dispute with your employer. It can represent you at the Labour Tribunal 
  • Trade union amplifies your call for change of laws and policies concerning employment. For example, HKCTU and other domestic workers’ unions have been consistently pushing the Hong Kong government to increase the wages and food allowance of migrant domestic workers 
  • Your membership and participate at the trade union may enhance your organisational skill 
  • Trade union usually provides free skill trainings for its members 
  • Trade union expands your network and circle of friends. This is particularly useful if you work overseas 
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List of organisations
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1 comment:

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