UPD vows to fight for workers’ interests

2017-09-06 08:00     Comment:0

Direct legislative election group Union for Development (UPD) said yesterday that its political platform puts special emphasis on policies to improve workers’ conditions as well as enhance Macau’s competitiveness by participating in regional cooperation.

The group’s 10 candidates announced their political platform during a press conference yesterday at an activity centre run by the Macau Federation of Trade Unions in Iao Hon district.

The group, No. 16 on the ballot, is led by Ella Lei Cheng I, currently an indirectly-elected lawmaker for the labour sector.

Four years ago, seasoned lawmaker Kwan Tsui Hang led the UPD and won a seat. Kwan, who has been a legislator since 1996, is not seeking re-election.

Lei, a vice-president of the Macau Federation of Trade Unions, said her group regards the protection of workers’ interests as its top priority.

Lei said her group would continue to ensure that the government keeps its stance of prohibiting the hiring of non-locals as dealers, table game supervisors and commercial vehicle drivers.

Lei said her group was calling for the setting-up of a strict mechanism for the replacement of non-resident workers when local workers are qualified and willing to fill the positions.

Lei said her group would continue to call for more local employees to be promoted to managerial or technical positions in large enterprises. “We believe 90 percent of managerial positions [in major enterprises] should be ultimately taken up by local residents,” she said.

In addition to workers’ interests, Lei said her group would also put special emphasis on housing policies, urban planning and stronger monitoring of the government.

Lei said her group was urging the government to accept public housing applications regularly, not just occasionally.

Leong Sun Iok, the second-ranked candidate, said his group would call for the government to issue stored value cards (SVCs) to all permanent residents for its Healthcare Subsidy Scheme, instead of giving them new vouchers every year.

The government launched its annual Healthcare Subsidy Scheme in 2009. Residents eligible for the Healthcare Subsidy Scheme 2017 can obtain twelve 50-pataca vouchers from self-service kiosks. The vouchers can be used to pay for healthcare and dentistry services.
Lei said her group aimed to win two seats in the September 17 election, insisting that the Macau Federation of Trade Unions’ consistent efforts for the protection of workers’ interests have been recognised by many residents.

The first-ranked candidate of the Union for Development (UPD), Ella Lei Cheng I (right), and the second-ranked candidate, Leong Sun Iok, pose on the sidelines of yesterday’s press conference to announce details of their group’s political platform, at an activity centre run by the Macau Federation of Trade Unions in Iao Hon district. Photo: Tony Wong


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