Hong Kong: 11-11 Action holds Leighton Asia responsible for Occupational Accidents

 

On 11 November the Construction and General Workers Union (CSWGU) and Association of Rights of Injury and Accident Victims (ARIAV) launched a nationwide campaign demanding Leighton Asia be held to account for violating workers’ health and safety rights. The campaign was launched at a Leighton construction site in Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong, and a Senior Leighton Executive received a petition from the union.

“Leighton’s reputation for accidents and poor industrial relations in Hong Kong is becoming notorious”, said BWI Asia Pacific Regional Representative Apolinar Tolentino. “These are big ticket contracts and a lot of money is being thrown around, however Leighton still seem unable to prevent accidents on site. It’s time for action, and we are thoroughly supporting CSWGU and ARIAV on this campaign.”

Leighton Asia holds a number of multi-billion infrastructure megaprojects in Hong Kong, including the Passengers Clearance Building at the Hong Kong Boundary Crossing facilities, Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge, and the Liantang/Heung Yuen Way Border Control point. Within Hong Kong, Leighton (in joint venture with Gammon) has been awarded significant MTR (rail) contracts, including the Hong Kong section of the Ghuangzhou-Shenzhen-Hong Kong Express Rail link, a HK$ 8.9 billion project that will include a 380000 square meter underground section at the West Kowloon North Terminus Station.

The 11-11 campaign will highlight Leighton Asia’s occupational accidents at construction sites taking place on 11 November 2013 and 11 November 2016. “The Public must know the human cost of mega infrastructure projects in Hong Kong. Companies like Leighton Asia must put workers’ safety before profits and completion targets” said Pat Kan Chan, CSWGU President during the campaign launch.

On 11 November 2013 a Philippine electrician was found unconscious while working on the underground tunnel at Pat Heung construction site. Leighton Asia had violated the Cap 509 OSH Ordinance Regulation by deploying the worker to work alone at hazardous premises not under the employer’s control. The company, then, prevented the family of the victim to report this case to OSH Labour Department.

On 11 November 2016, four Nepalese workers fell from a 7.6-meter-high platform at the new Lin Tong Border Control facility near Mainland China at Leighton Ta Kwu Ling construction site. The accident killed one worker and left the other three severely injured.

Leighton Asia is a member of CIMIC Group (formerly Leighton Holding), which the German firm Hochtief AG holds a majority share in. “ understand the BWI has a framework agreement with Hochtief Germany,” said Kan Chan. “This 1111 campaign calls for broader international support demanding Leighton Asia is held responsible for occupational accidents. We also demand Leighton Asia to engage with CSWGU and ARIAV improve the working condition at its construction sites in Hong Kong.”