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H7N9 Bird Flu; Container Terminal Strike; Interview with Professor Rick Glofcheski (12 Apr 2013)


It’s flu season. When isn’t it flu season? But what’s even more worrying this year is that there have been reports of a SARS like illness in the middle East, and – closer to home – a new bird flu strain affecting humans in mainland China. The Chinese Academy of Sciences said this week that according to its estimation the H7N9 strain probably originated from migratory birds from East Asia mixing with domestic fowl in China’s Yangtze River delta. Perhaps, having learned lessons from previous respiratory disease outbreaks, the mainland government does seem to have been more open about the potential pandemic this time, with the Ministry of Agriculture saying on Wednesday that another five bird markets across eastern China have found H7N9 in samples from chickens and ducks. But how prepared is Hong Kong?   The dockers’ strike at the HIT container terminal began two weeks ago. Some 500 members of the Confederation of Trade Unions are on strike. 200 have been protesting outside the Kwai Chung Container Terminal. Hong Kong’s hardly a hotbed of industrial action, but despite that the strike seems to have struck a chord with the public. But it’s a strike that’s taking on a particularly Hong Kong character, as two groups of unions, one of which is not actually striking, have been invited to negotiate are actually negotiating with the contractors, while HIT, which runs the port, is merely sitting on the sidelines. More on that in part two.   With us in the studio to discuss the strike is Professor Rick Glofcheski of Hong Kong University, the author and co-editor of Employment Law and Practice in Hong Kong.

The Pulse
Publish Date: 
Friday, April 12, 2013
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