The staff union of Hospital Authority (HA) called for a unified response from its members against their employer’s latest action on their strike earlier this year which urged for closing the border to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
HA issued an email on Friday (October 9) to employees who joined the strike this February, indicating that they must explain their absence on each day during the strike period. If they did not come up with an explanation by October 23, they will be deemed to agree with the days of absence.
The HA Employees Alliance, the initiator of the strike, told its members not to rush to reply to the email individually, as the Alliance has been consulting its legal team to draft a template for its members to respond collectively.
【Breaking News】 各會員應陸續收到由人力資源部發出信件，切勿急於自行回覆！ 工會現與律師團隊相討回覆細節，並將會提供範本予各會員作一致回覆。Posted by 醫管局員工陣線 HA Employees Alliance on Thursday, October 8, 2020
Chairperson of the Alliance, Winnie Yu Wai-ming, said that the Alliance is a registered union and the strike motion has been supported by members’ votes, therefore the strike was a legal industrial action. The Alliance would continue to negotiate with HA on behalf of all its members.
The email shown to Stand News by one of the employees on strike stated that HA’s human resources department will make a decision on the next step according to the replies of the employee.
The strike, which began on February 3, demanded to stop everyone from entering Hong Kong from the mainland and asked for sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline staff. About 5,500 staff took part in the five-day industrial action, which came to an end on February 7 as members voted against an extended strike.
Henry Fan hung-ling, chairman of HA, said recently that the Authority had already sought legal advice and would issue a letter to their staff asking them to account for their absence from duty. In response, the Employees Alliance said they would seek legal advice against the Authority’s action, as taking apart in strike is a right guaranteed by the Basic Law.