Workers, subcontractors on Hong Kong airport’s third runway project owed HK$100 million in unpaid wages and costs, lawmaker says

·3-min read

Some 200 workers and six subcontractors involved in building a new terminal for Hong Kong International Airport’s planned third runway are owed nearly HK$100 million (US$12.8 million) in overdue wages and project costs, a lawmaker has said amid an ongoing labour row.

Edward Lau Kwok-fan, a lawmaker with the Democratic Alliance for the Betterment and Progress of Hong Kong and a mediator in the dispute, on Wednesday urged the Airport Authority to respond in the next two days to the demands of the workers and subcontractors, including paying the outstanding amounts.

The authority on Tuesday, however, said it had settled the payments with the main contractor and ordered it to handle the issue with subcontractors properly.

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Hong Kong Airport Authority warns contractors over wage row

More than 100 staff employed by the main contractor, a joint venture partnership between Leighton Asia and Chun Wo, launched a sit-in on Tuesday morning, claiming they were still owed wages after completing their work for the authority.

Leighton Asia-Chun Wo was in charge of foundation and substructure works for a new terminal that will serve the new runway, with a contract valued at HK$2.43 billion in 2017.

Workers were required to leave the site after the contract expired. However, Lau said they had yet to receive their full pay, while the subcontractors who managed the workers had still not been paid for their project costs.

Some of the subcontractors had paid the workers themselves, as Leighton Asia-Chun Wo did not pay them on time, he added.

The authority says the third runway will be completed as planned and within budget. Photo: Winson Wong
The authority says the third runway will be completed as planned and within budget. Photo: Winson Wong

Subcontractors, worker representatives and Leighton Asia-Chun Wo held a meeting with the authority on Tuesday afternoon, Lau said, during which three demands were raised.

First, Leighton Asia-Chun Wo must make sure all of the workers were paid for the months of October and November before leaving the project.

Second, the joint venture must pay outstanding project costs owed to subcontractors in instalments by the end of this month.

And third, they demanded the authority intervene in the dispute and negotiate.

Tarmac works for Hong Kong’s third runway completed

The authority said in a statement after the meeting that it was arranging for an orderly and “phased handover” of assignments after its contract with Leighton ended, adding that construction work on the third runway would be completed as planned and within budget.

Lau said he would continue to follow up on the labour row and hoped the third runway project would not face the same fate as the MTR’s Sha Tin to Central link – Hong Kong’s most expensive rail undertaking ever, which has seen its completion date repeatedly pushed back.

This article Workers, subcontractors on Hong Kong airport’s third runway project owed HK$100 million in unpaid wages and costs, lawmaker says first appeared on South China Morning Post

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