HIT Director, Yim = Liar?
April 10, 2013 5 Comments
By Kwok Yin Yin Ivy
Hundreds of dock workers have been on strike outside the Kwai Chung Container Terminal for over two weeks over a pay dispute against their employers. However, Hong Kong International Terminals (HIT) has refused to get directly involved in the dispute as they claimed they are not the one who hired them.
The conflict deepened. Workers criticized HIT for the contracting issue after the Managing Director of HIT, Gerry Yim Lui-fai, was discovered to be a director of Sakoma – a subsidiary of HPH Trust (Shareholder of HIT) and the name written in the contractor field of some staff cards.
(a) HIT and Yim’s arguments:
Neither HIT nor its subsidiaries were the “external contractors” at the port. Sakoma was only a “contracting unit” set up to sign service contracts with these “external contractors”. Yet, it had been handed over to Hutchison Logistics to sign external contractors. Staff cards with Sakoma’s name were just an “administrative error” that had not been corrected for years. A statement has been issued denying Yim as a contractor board member.
(b) Strikers’ arguments:
According to the Companies Registry, Sakoma’s major shareholder is Asia Port Services, an HPH Trust member which Yim is one of the directors. Also, it is unjustifiable for such a multinational company to make mistakes on the work permit. HIT should show the proof that Sakoma is not the contractor. They questioned if HIT had a conflict of interest in outsourcing work via subsidiary Sakoma.
(c) Blogger’s view:
I would like to put my focus on Yim’s responsibility. An immediate proof of whether Sakoma is the contractor is needed. If Sakoma is the contractor, it is of the director’s responsibility definitely. According to Hong Kong Companies Ordinance (Cap 32 s 162), “Any director of a company who is in any way, directly or indirectly, interested in a contract or proposed contract with the company shall, if his interest in such contract or proposed contract is material, declare the nature of his interest at the earliest meeting of the directors.”
Disclosure of director’s interest is predominantly fundamental. Being a director of HIT and Sakoma, Yim should declare interest. Clauses regarding on the disclosure of director’s interest should be clearly stated in the company memorandum, and improvement of administrative work is needed to avoid any administrative error. It is a good conduct to protect stakeholders and to avoid director’s conflict of interest.
HIT denies links with contractors
HIT boss denies links to contractors involved in dock strike
Port dispute with striking dockers deepens
HK Companies Ordinance – CAP 32 COMPANIES ORDINANCE
TVB news – HIT issues