Survey - November 2020


Founded in 1947 just after the end of the Second World War, the Federation traces its origins to the early days of Hong Kong’s spectacular post-war growth. In these difficult times for employee relations, a group of major employers, all members of the General Chamber of Commerce, decided they needed to set up a group to focus only on labour issues. At the time, the most appropriate legal entity to match the growing influence of labour groups was a Trade Union. Thus, in spinning off their group, the founders of the Employers’ Federation chose to make the new organisation a Trade Union.

In the early years, the Federation’s main role was to help its members learn to deal with growing trade union power. Hong Kong was not immune to the trends sweeping the rest of the industrialised world – and in particular Britain – where confrontation between employers and employees was growing. At that time it seemed to many business leaders that the prosperity of Hong Kong – even its future – was under serious threat from disruptive labour groups. By organising itself into functional groups of like industries, the thought was that companies with the same interests could meet regularly, discuss trends and counter possible threats collectively.