Chinese law at Hong Kong rail station prompts legal battle

By Channel NewAsia

hong-kong-s-mini-constitution----the-basic-law----clearly-cites-that-national-laws-do-not-apply-to-the-city-apart-from-in-limited-areas-incHong Kong’s mini-constitution – the Basic Law – clearly cites that national laws do not apply to the city apart from in limited areas, including defence. (Photo: AFP/Vivek Prakash)

HONG KONG: Hong Kong’s imposing new harbourfront rail terminus promises a high-speed link with China but for some the station represents an existential crisis for the city, with nothing less than its cherished freedoms under threat.

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Hong Kong’s MTR Corporation profiteering from state repression

“A tool of the government’s political crackdown” 

Adam N. Lee,

Hong Kong’s state-owned rail giant MTR has expanded aggressively overseas in the past decade. The company has exploited the worldwide mania for privatisation of formerly publicly owned transport systems to establish itself as a global force. It now derives one-third of its revenue from operations in Europe, Australia and mainland China.

“In Sweden, MTR is now the third biggest employer in the capital Stockholm,” says Per-Åke Westerlund of the socialist party, Rättvisepartiet Socialisterna (CWI in Sweden). “Several groups of unionised workers have grievances against the company, which operates the Stockholm subway system, the capital’s regional railway, and has also taken over national rail routes. This summer, MTR’s subcontractor at the regional railway sacked 24 cleaning workers and cut working hours for another 41.”

In Melbourne, Australia, MTR owns 60 percent of Metro, which operates the city’s trains. In 2015, the company’s attacks on working hours and conditions triggered the transport network’s first strike since 1997.

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