Hong Kong dockers strike ends

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1305strf

Strike action at the Kwai Tsing Container Terminal in Hong Kong has ended following 40 days of walk-outs and demonstrations.

The Union of Hong Kong Dockers (UHKD) called an end to the dispute after a pay increase of nearly 10 per cent and improved working conditions were reportedly negotiated with operator Hong Kong International Terminals (HIT), a subsidiary of the Hutchison group of companies owned by business magnate Li Ka-Shing. Workers had initially demanded a wage increase of over 20 per cent, while employers offered seven.


Protesters gathered at Victoria Park in early April; Author: Leenouyaen2013

At the time of the strikes, HIT said the demonstrations were potentially costing the company up to HK$5 million (USD644,000) in losses per day. Further, a report from Bloomberg cited the chairman of Hong Kong Association of Freight Forwarding and Logistics, who said vessels had to queue up outside of Hong Kong port for two to four days before being able to berth, with approximately 120,000 unprocessed twenty-foot equivalent units (TEUs) accumulating since the strike action began.

In response to the delays and hampered productivity, several shipping lines reportedly either delayed cargo traffic via Hong Kong or diverted to the Chinese port of Shenzhen, of which Hutchison has a 43% market share.

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