Leanne studied Biology in university, and after graduation, works in a job related to environmental protection and waste management planning. In her free time, she works as an ecological tour guide at the Centre, and established the first official Workers’ Union for the Environmental Education industry with some friends.
Leanne : “I hope that the tours I lead are inspirational. Participants often ask me for plant names. I personally think that besides memorizing species names, you could think about what you can do to protect nature. My occupation has to do with recycling, so I would take special note of the problem of BB gun pellets at Pinewood Battery. I encourage participants to pick up BB gun pellets on the spot, and emphasize that putting environmental protection in practice is the most important thing. When there are children among the participants, I will tell stories and ask them to imagine the arduous journey migratory birds make.When they arrive in Hong Kong, the resting point of their journey, only to find that there are plastic pellets all over the place… you’ll find children putting in a lot of effort to pick up the plastic pellets.” (grins)
"This year in April, I established a Workers' Union with my friends. In the past, the environmental education industry has always lacked a legitimate platform to discuss workers' rights. By openly sharing information and letting fellow workers in the industry know that channels that assist can make the entire industry improve in the long run. If someone wants to enter the industry or switch occupations, they can find related information on the Union’s Facebook page, and choose a good company."
Currently, there are inadequate laws to protect the rights of workers in the environmental education industry. Before setting up a Workers' Union, when a company mistreats our fellow workers, they could only rant about it in front of their friends, but they can reflect their problems to us. The Union can talk about and suggest ways to deal with the issues or refer them to large-scale unions for follow-up.
The Union wishes to attract more new members, we welcome full-time and part-time workers alike. We estimate that this industry has about roughly 2000 workers, but we only have around 200 members now. A larger member base allows them to exchange even more information, and we will have a better bargaining power when lobbying for more rights.”
For more details, you can surf the Union’s Facebook page : https://bit.ly/324nsTM
*Pinewood Battery, located within Lung Fu Shan Country Park is a relic from WWII, and war-game lovers had left behind large amounts of BB gun pellets, causing plastic pollution and affecting the environment and wildlife.