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Hong Kong port workers on strike to demand pay rise

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

Over 100 workers at a Hong Kong container port operated by a firm owned by tycoon Li Ka-shing were on strike for a second day Friday as they blocked roads and staged a sit-in to demand higher wages.

Carrying banners, dock workers from Hongkong International Terminals (HIT) shouted "We will fight to the end" at a container port near the city's airport to seek a 17-percent pay rise as the protest went into its second day.

A minor scuffle broke out Thursday when some protesters stormed into the terminal in a bid to have their daily wages increased to HK$1,600 ($206) amid rising inflation costs in Hong Kong, one of the world's busiest container ports.

The workers said their salaries had only been increased once in the last 15 years, and vowed to continue the strike until the port operator was willing to meet their request.

"If the company is still unwilling to come to the negotiation table with the union, then our demands will continue," Union of Hong Kong Dockers spokesman Stanley Ho said.

A spokeswoman from HIT told AFP that the protest has not affected its operation, saying the effect was only "small". The firm has reportedly said that the protesters were workers hired through a contractor.

HIT, which operates 12 berths, is a unit of tycoon Li's Hutchison Port Holdings Trust -- part of the vast empire owned by Asia's richest man, whose firms control about 70 percent of the city's port traffic.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130329/hong-kong-port-workers-strike-demand-pay-rise