Hong Kong civil servants warned not to vote in strike poll

By on 17/06/2020 | Updated on 24/09/2020
The administration has repeatedly warned civil servants not to participate in strikes and protests, such as this demonstration against a proposed extradition bill in 2019. (Image courtesy: Studio Incendo via flickr).

Hong Kong civil servants considering participating in a union poll on strike action against a national security law have been warned that the government “will not sit idly by for acts that blatantly damage the interest of society and the reputation of the civil service”.

Hong Kong’s chief secretary of administration Matthew Cheung Kin-chung made the comments after he learned that a group of civil servants are calling on colleagues to take part in the vote on whether to organise strike and boycott action in protest against legislation currently being drafted by Beijing. Opponents fear the law, which the government says is designed to prevent and punish subversion, terrorism, separatism and foreign interference, is intended to crack down on Hong Kong’s freedoms.

Cheung wrote in a blog post that it was “infuriating” and “regrettable” to hear that civil servants are planning to vote in the poll, which was due to take place on 14 June but has been put back to 20 June due to a tropical cyclone.

He called on civil servants to “tell fact from fiction and remain rational” and to live up to the expectations of the general public. “As the backbone of the government, civil servants are responsible for safeguarding the security of Hong Kong as well as the country,” he said.

The executive officer of the Hong Kong Federation of Civil Service Unions, Leung Chau-ting, said, as reported by The Standard: “It is not that we are against the law for no reason. It is just that we don’t have an in-depth understanding of the law, and as a result there are worries over it.”

The 23 unions organising the poll expect 60,000 people to vote. At least 60% of voting union members will need to approve the motions if they are to pass.

About Mia Hunt

Mia is a journalist and editor with a background in covering commercial property, having been market reports and supplements editor at trade title Property Week and deputy editor of Shopping Centre magazine, now known as Retail Destination. She has also undertaken freelance work for several publications including the preview magazine of international trade show, MAPIC, and TES Global (formerly the Times Educational Supplement) and has produced a white paper on energy efficiency in business for E.ON. Between 2014 and 2016, she was a member of the Revo Customer Experience Committee and an ACE Awards judge. Mia graduated from Kingston University with a first-class degree in journalism and was part of the team that produced The River newspaper, which won Publication of the Year at the Guardian Student Media Awards in 2010.

One Comment

  1. edward says:

    red rag to a bull for the civil servants i would think. whatever happened to democracy and one man one vote? oh yeah i forgot this is China we’re talking about. Citizens of Hong Kong, now is your last chance at any semblance of freedom. take this chance now and go for broke. if you surrender now your lives will never be the same. fight for your freedoms

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