Trade union says Lin Heung·Tea House group owes employees between HK$1.5m to HK$2m after closing down, owner unreachable

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10th August 2022 – (Hong Kong) Lin Heung·Tea House and Lin Heung restaurant in Tsuen Wan have closed down since yesterday. Meanwhile, the group who operates the restaurants announced that its Lin Heung Kui restaurant located in Sheung Wan is still in operation.

The management of the 2 restaurants posted on its Facebook page that both restaurants are franchisees owned by the group.

However, it was revealed by the employees that the two restaurants owed wages for 4 months, and it is estimated that the amount involved is at least a few millions Hong Kong dollars. The spokesperson of Eating Establishment Employees General Union (ERB)  which assists the affected employees, said on a radio program this morning (10th) that he accompanied about 20 employees to the Labour Department for help yesterday, involving arrears of salaries and severance pay, which amounted to at least HK$1.5 to HK$2 million. He also pointed out that the owner of the two restaurants could not be contacted for the time being.

In 1918, Lin Heung·Tea House opened a branch in Hong Kong and moved to Wellington Street in Central, occupying the ground floor and first floor of the 7-storey tenement building. In 2019, due to issues including expiration of the lease, Lin Heung Tea House was closed. After that, several staff took over and continued to operate in a franchise mode. It was renamed “Lin Heung Cafeteria” and no evening dine-in service was provided.

However, after the business of the revamped restaurant failed again due to anti-extradition protests and COVID-19 pandemic, the fourth-generation descendant of the original proprietor, Ngan’s family took over the restaurant again in March 2020, and changed its name back to “Lin Heung Tea House”. After two years of operation, the group announced again the closure of its business.

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