Pay cut as Turbojet rides rough seas

Local | Jane Cheung 14 Jan 2020

Turbojet employees will take a pay cut of up to 12 percent, as the Hong Kong-Macau ferry service was hit by a fall in tourist numbers as well as competition from the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge.

High-ranking staff earning more than HK$70,000 a month will see the highest cut of 12 percent, middle-ranking employees earning HK$30,000 to HK$70,000 will face a 10 percent cut and those with a monthly salary between HK$10,000 to HK$30,000 will see wages cut by 8 percent.

Only employees earning HK$10,000 or less will have not see any pay cuts.

Around 1,000 employees will be affected by the salary adjustment, which will take effect from February 1.

Sources said the Shun Tak-China Travel Ship Management subsidiary issued the notice on Friday, which asked employees to return a signed circular by this Friday. Employees who refuse to do so will be deemed to have resigned.

Bill Tang Ka-piu from the Federation of Trade Unions said the company had also asked employees to take three days of no-pay leave every month since September.

He said about 100 employees from Turbojet had sought help from the federation.

"Except for a small number of junior apprentices, almost all employees are affected," he said. "The reduction percentage is relatively high and I believe it would affect many workers at the grassroots. The average salary reduction is 8 percent, which would translate to at least HK$1,000 per month." He said the federation and unionists are discussing the next step to take but have yet to come to a conclusion.

This came as the ferry services saw a drop in patronage after the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macao Bridge in October 2018 and the ongoing anti-fugitive protests that began last June further pulled down the number of travelers.

Meanwhile, Cathay Pacific denied any plans to ask staff members to go on mandatory no-pay leave, after media reports said the company will launch a pilot scheme for employees to take one month of no-pay leave at Cathay Dragon.

A spokesman for the airline yesterday said the system was part of its existing voluntary "lifestyle rosters."

"Such rosters are open to application which allow crew staff to pursue interests of their choice while maintaining a balanced and rewarding lifestyle," he said.

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