The delayed salary payment issue at Sing Pao reminded me that my pen name in childhood means plough with the pen. Unfortunately, the world has shown that ploughing doesn’t always lead to harvest.
In the past two months, my mind has been filled with different scenes, including the furious complaints by Sing Pao employees, the helplessness and hopelessness of the sacked employees, the looks of uncertainty among current employees, the previous Sing Pao employees who have already moved overseas but still complain about unpaid salaries. At the same time, the management’s prompt actions to pacify the staff, the review hearing in the Eastern Magistrates’ Courts, and the worried look of the Permanent Secretary for Economic Development and Labour Mr. Cheung Kin Chung.
Are there any responsible employers in today’s world? After all the hard work of the journalists, should they give up their due rights? Will endlessly waiting assure a better future? Does fighting for one’s rights mean disturbance? My head is buzzing with question after question.
Fortunately, our heads have not been confused by these questions. We have enthusiastic members offering help, the voluntary assistance from General Secretary the Honourable Lee Cheuk-yan of the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, in support of the courageous Sing Pao employees who expressed their dissatisfaction, the members who supported the functions by the HKJA. All of them contributed a lot to our success in our actions, meetings, seminar of labour rights, and protest on 1 Jan, and so forth. We hereby express our gratitude to all of them.
Certainly, we need to express a greater gratitude to the people who signed, promoted, and helped us to draw the birthday card for the “Release Ching Cheong Under Medical Parole ASAP” Signature Campaign because your efforts will ease his suffering. We have received more than 3,000 signatures already and have asked the Chief Executive to forward our message to the Central Government.
After saying thank you to different people, please allow us to bring you some “gifts”. The first “gift” is the concern of the public. Last New Year’s Eve, I attended an assembly, and those who were there paid close attention to the current situation of press freedom. This reminded me of another assembly at which the public expressed their empathy after they learned of the difficulties journalists faced when they carried out their duties in China. I believe it is the best gift to the journalists who work with their hearts.
Secondly, we are co-organizing a course for “Blogging” with the Vocational Training Council. The course has been arranged because blogging has become a channel for expression and information. It is also a source for news gathering, so we hope that the course will help interested member to create multifunctional blogs and to learn how to discover news in blogs. Please pay close attention to our later notice and register right away.
Lastly, we will surely need to keep a close eye on the Sing Pao case. We hope our members can support our colleagues in spirit as well. If you learn of any vacancy in any media, please notify us so that we can spread the news to the affected Sing Pao employees. At the same time we hope you can ask the management where you work to consider the idea in our previous letter of asking them to put higher priority to hiring Sing Pao employees, so that we can help each other through the winter.
Unity is power, it can overcome difficulties, reduce dangers, and to ensure we don’t fight alone.
Chairperson Report, February and March 2007
Chairperson Report, November 2006