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Council Suspends Clutch of Labor Laws in Hong Kong

July 17, 1997| Reuters

HONG KONG — Hong Kong's Beijing-approved council flexed its muscles in a fierce showdown with unions Wednesday by suspending a series of laws on labor rights.

Clashing head-on with labor unions, members of the Provisional Legislative Council suspended four of seven laws enacted just before China took back the 156-year-old British colony from London on July 1.

Legislators made the decision after a marathon debate, which they were forced to adjourn briefly when a small group of protesters stormed the public gallery of the chamber.

In a 38-9 vote with one abstention, legislators moved to suspend four of the seven laws, three dealing with labor rights and one with individual rights.

They involve such issues as the right of unions to bargain collectively with employers on wages and benefits on behalf of employees and the use of union funds for political activity.

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