Workers union takes on “ableist” practices within Hongkong Post

by Santi Arnaiz29 Aug 2017
Name-calling, forced resignation, and unfair treatment are only the tip of the iceberg, according to one union protesting against alleged discrimination against workers with disabilities at Hong Kong’s postal authority.

Ten workers, accompanied by represtentatives of the Rights Association of Hongkong Post Contract Staff, staged a demonstration outside the General Post Office on Aug 17. They cited escalating instances of discrimination starting in March, after former postmaster general Jessie Ting Yip Yin-mei was replaced by new head Gordon Leung Chung-Tai.

Earlier in June, a senior postal inspector was reported for calling a union representative “broken mouth”. According to the inspector, this was just a harmless nickname they had for the representative, who suffers from a cleft palate.

In a separate case in March, a partially-deaf worker was asked by their superintendant to go back to school and learn sign language. The worker resigned from his position later in May, citing emotional distress over his discrimination.

Union chairman, Tse Tin-wing said there are still many staff members who continue to suffer abuse or discrimination at work, choosing to remain silent for fear of losing their jobs.

Following current postmaster general Leung’s refusal to meet with the union, Tse plans to bring this issue up to the Equal Opportunities Commission and the Obmudsman.

In an official statement, Hongkong Post stated they will not accept or condone discriminatory behaviour, as it is against organisational regulations. The group insisted that equal opportunities and anti-discrimination policies were already set up, with union negotiations soon to be underway.

Any workers suffering disability discrimination were actively encouraged to file complaints, which would be handled in a “fair and confidential manner”.

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