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21 Sep 2021

Kari Soo Lindberg, Bloomberg,
Jinshan Hong , Bloomberg

Hong Kong: One of the city's largest unions to disband amid concerns on national security law and safety of personnel

Hong Kong’s largest pro-democracy labor organization said it plans to disband amid growing concern that it will be targeted by the government for allegedly violating the national security law.

The Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions, a 145,000-member group, on Thursday evening passed a motion to start the process of disbanding, the group’s president, Joe Wong, said [...]

“Under the new circumstances, we are fully aware there’s no longer room for existence of our union,” Wong said. “If we continue operation, we may risk our members’ personal safety.”

The group is the latest pro-democracy civil organization to start shutting down in the face of growing pressure from authorities on groups that supported anti-government protests in 2019, and reports in Chinese state media that they may have violated the city’s sweeping national security law, enacted last June.

The Hong Kong Professional Teachers’ Union, which had about 100,000 members, disbanded last month 10 days after China’s official Xinhua News Agency denounced it as a “malignant tumor,” and Hong Kong Police Commissioner Raymond Siu said he would investigate the union. [...]

“We firmly believe in independent trade unionism and we are independent of any regime or consortium. We believe that the unity of workers can reverse the injustice of society,” reads the organization’s motto on its website.