Lam Sets a Precedent - Caves on Protester's 'One Demand'


Posted by Ed 2 mths ago
AsiaXPAT (Hong Kong) - 90 nurses have called in sick in a shot over the bow at Carrie Lam's government which refuses to close all border crossings with China.
Hong Kong has closed 6 of 15 border crossings but a spokesperson for the health care professionals union says that is unacceptable and they are demanding all crossing be closed immediately to prevent the further spread of the Coronavirus.
Joseph Lee Kok-long, chairman the Association of HK Nursing Staff commenting on the strike action said, “Most nurses are dedicated to their jobs. Just that [total border closure], it’s more or less equal to pushing our frontline medical practitioners to their deaths.” 
Hospital Authority Employees Alliance, with 15,000 members, will convene a general meeting on Saturday to decide if they will go on strike as early as next week.
Read More about this story on the SCMP.
Although it has not been stated, it is not difficult to see how this might be connected to the 8-month long protest movement in Hong Kong, which has been supported by many in the medical services community.
Carrie Lam and her government have zero credibility in Hong Kong after failing to address the demands of the protesters.
This move might be interpreted as 'if you won't listen to us then don't come to us for help when infected people from the mainland are allowed into Hong Kong'   
Protesters also fire-bombed a housing estate that was reportedly going to be used to hold people infected with the coronavirus. 
And overnight, the protesters threw petrol bombs at two police stations (see SCMP
If Carrie Lam is thinking that this pandemic is going to galvanize the community and ignite support for her government, she better think again.

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Ed 59 days ago
UPDATE:  Members of the new pro-democracy union, The Hospital Authority Employees Alliance, have issued another ultimatum to the Hong Kong government threatening industrial action if all border crossings into China are not shut.
They will start targeting non-emergency services progressing to slow or stop emergency services if the government does not accede to their demands early next week.
If the government does agree to this demand and sets a precedent, will the protesters use similar tactics to force the government to respond to their other 5 demands?    
Read more on this story on the SCMP

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Ed 57 days ago
UPDATE:  It's no longer a threat as thousands of doctors and nurses in HK have now voted to take strike action on Monday.
More on this on the SCMP
it will be interesting to see the government's reaction to this and if they will cave in to the union's demands.   
The Big Picture 
If they do, supporters of the protests in Hong Kong may take away the message that 'if you organize a union and sign up significant numbers of members, then threaten to strike if demands are not met, you just might get what throwing petrol bombs and getting jailed did not achieve' 
Carrie Lam may be thinking about the big picture here as well, however she may have no choice --- if health care workers follow through with this strike, the public is likely to overwhelming support them because I suspect most people want that border sealed off - even the pro-China supporters in HK.    

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Ed 55 days ago
UPDATE:   HK Government Closes More Border Crossing with China and Macau
It would appear that Hong Kongers have finally worked out how to get Carrie Lam to accede to their demands. 
Go on strike.
The HK Hospital Authority reported that 2700 health care workers including over 900 nurses and 300 doctors responded to the call for industrial action and did not report for work yesterday.
Carrie Lam responded by closing additional border crossing with China including Lok Ma Chau, Lo Wu and the HK- Macau Ferry Terminal.
Lam denied that this decision had anything to do with the health care workers strike action stating, “They are completely irrelevant to the strike.” 
Either Carrie Lam is lying or this is an incredible coincidence.
The Hospital Authority Employees Alliance is threatening to escalate their strike action with as many as 9000 health care workers joining the strike if Lam does not close all border crossings.
If they follow through and Lam responds by closing all checkpoints to and from China, will she she again state that her decision is not related to the strike?
And if she does cave in to this demand, does that send the message to the community that petrol bombs and smashing up banks are blunt tools that achieve little and that the silver bullet when it comes to forcing your agenda is strike action? 
Lam swims in dangerous waters on this border crossing issue. 
Read More on the SCMP 

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Ed 53 days ago
After 8 months of resisting the protester's demands, after a two day strike, Carrie Lam has announced that as of Saturday, all travelers from mainland China, including HK residents, re-entering Hong Kong, will be quarantined for 14 days.
This is a face-saving compromise on the demand of sealing off the border completely as it effectively will close the border as quarantining serves as an effective deterrent to crossing into HK.
But the people of Hong Kong are not donkeys and they understand the precedent that has been set : if you have broad demands for something, go on strike.   You will get what you want without the tear gas and prison time.   
If Hong Kong survives the coronavirus in one piece, the protesters have unfinished business in the form of 5 more demands for Carrie Lam and her government.
Will the protesters and their supporters, who number in the millions, learn from this incident and organize more unions, and use industrial action to force Lam to accede to their 5 demands?
Read more on the BBC 

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