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Transcript of remarks by SLW on wage claims by ATV employees

     Following is the transcript of remarks by the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, on wage claims by ATV employees today (January 1):

Reporter: Mr Cheung, was the Government dragging its feet in taking legal action?

Secretary for Labour and Welfare: Let me make a few points. First of all, for this case, in fact, the judicial proceedings have commenced. It would be inappropriate for me to comment further on the case, but suffice for me to say that the Labour Department is taking a very serious view about any wage offences. The department has taken the advice of the Department of Justice, and it takes time for the Department of Justice to go back to the department with their deliberations. Yesterday afternoon, the Labour Department has laid summonses, 34 summonses altogether, against ATV - 17 against the company itself, and 17 against a director concerned. As I said, it would be inappropriate for the Government to comment further because the case would be heard in the Shatin Magistrates' Courts shortly.

Reporter: Will it be another six months before the Government decides to take action on the payment delay with regards to November and December (2014)?

Secretary for Labour and Welfare: The Labour Department is investigating the alleged offences of outstanding wages for November (2014) and will also consult the Department of Justice. If there is sufficient evidence, let me assure you that we will certainly take it seriously and institute prosecution.

Reporter: What kind of support is there for the workers who have decided to stop...

Secretary for Labour and Welfare: At all levels. In fact the department is ready to help any employee of ATV, for example on labour rights, employment benefits, and also on how to really help if they are looking for employment elsewhere. We stand ready to help them, we have got the employment service. But I do not want to see it happen. I really want everybody to continue to work for the ATV, if possible, because they are all concerned about their employment prospect. It all boils down to tackling the financial problem of the management itself. That is why we have reminded ATV that it is very important for them to sort out this financial question as soon as possible.

Reporter: ... treating ATV with leniency...

Secretary for Labour and Welfare: No. You know, we are adopting a usual approach to handle the problem. There is no question of favouritism at all. In fact, 34 summonses were laid yesterday afternoon, and it is quite clear that we mean business in terms of prosecution.

(Please also refer to the Chinese portion of the transcript.)

Ends/Thursday, January 1, 2015
Issued at HKT 18:44


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