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Hong Kong Airlines staff to join city-wide strike on Aug. 5

Open letter from airline employees calls on government to address demands of protestors

File photo: Hong Kong Airlines flight attendants practice Wing-chun

File photo: Hong Kong Airlines flight attendants practice Wing-chun (AP photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – As protests continue into the ninth week in Hong Kong, some civil servants have called for a three day city-wide strike next week, starting Monday (Aug. 5). Reports on Aug. 2 indicate that a large amount of Hong Kong Airlines employees are also planning to participate.

An open letter from Hong Kong Airlines staff published on Friday declares that, although they value their employment with the airline, at heart they are Hong Kongers that love their city. Employees going on strike believe that the government has ignored the will of the people, and that citizens must make their voices heard.

The letter refers to the government’s response to the crisis as a ”slap in the face to the people of Hong Kong,” and demands that the government immediately renounce any effort to pass the new extradition legislation and to respond to demands of the protestors. Liberty Times reports that the letter has been signed by over 200 of the airline’s employees.

Previously on July 26, the Hong Kong Aviation Industry released a letter in support of the popular anti-extradition protests, criticizing the poor handling of the situation by the administration of Chief Executive Carrie Lam.

The letter recognized that Hong Kong’s social instability and the refusal of the government to directly address protestors’ demands has adversely affected the aviation industry. It was also intended as an apology and explanation for the crowds of protestors that flooded Hong Kong International Airport last week to make sure the government heard their message.

"Dear travelers, we feel regret and apologize for any unpleasant travel experience or inconvenience caused to your current journey in Hong Kong. The HK government should take full responsibility for the instability and chaotic situation at present. We once again urge the HKSAR government to respond to our 5 major requests on the extradition bill and set up an independent investigation committee to investigate the abuse of violence by the HK Police and suspicious connection with the triad. Otherwise, please forgive us for not being able to welcome you all with our greatest hospitality and provide the most favorable travel experience in the meantime. We hope that you can share this message with your family and friends, to tell them about the situation in Hong Kong right now. We need your support. One day, when we can regain our freedom, we will show our warmest welcome to you again.

Hongkongers, stand strong!"

The strike planned for Aug. 5 has been endorsed by civil servants from 52 government offices, along with the Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, representing 95 member businesses. At least 400 employees from 34 banks in Hong Kong are also expected to strike, along with most of the city’s Arts and Culture organizations, reports LTN.