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Hong Kong's new labor unions aim to reshape political landscape

Amid protests and coronavirus outbreak, activists hope to affect 2022 elections

Members of the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance walk to the Hong Kong government's headquarters on Feb. 5 to submit a petition demanding the city close its border with mainland China following the coronavirus outbreak.   © Reuters

HONG KONG -- While protests in Hong Kong have quieted as the coronavirus pandemic disrupts public life, some pro-democracy activists have set up new trade unions with the hope of reshaping the city's political landscape.

Ivan Law Cheuk-yiu, a 28-year-old nurse, is co-founder of the Hospital Authority Employees Alliance, or HAEA, a new union that has become one of the city's most prominent. It has about 20,000 members, or 25% of employees at the Hospital Authority, which is responsible for managing the city's public hospitals.

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