First Bus offer of lower-paid jobs has technicians fuming

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 August, 1998, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 14 August, 1998, 12:00am

About 100 China Motor Bus technicians have been offered lower-paid jobs as security staff with New World First Bus, which takes over CMB's franchise on September 1.

The workers' grievances - which include 20 to 30 per cent pay cuts, loss of benefits and being forced to do work for which they are not qualified - will be taken to the Labour Department today by Central and Western District Board member Dominic Chan Choi-hi.

Mr Chan said the workers had earned about $10,000 per month as refuellers and back-up technicians but were being offered $8,000 to work as security guards. They would lose benefits such as free bus travel for spouses and children.

'They were promised certain things before and now the new company has failed them; they can't have their old jobs back and they're very angry,' he said.

About 2,400 former CMB staff were taken on by First Bus when it was granted the franchise to operate Hong Kong bus services.

First Bus said it did not have jobs for all CMB's 750 mechanics and back-up staff and that they might have to take other work within the company. About 170 are believed to have been employed in other positions.

All CMB staff had been absorbed into the parent company, New World, said First Bus spokesman Kwan Chuk-fai.

He said 150 ex-CMB cleaners, while not working for First Bus, had been employed by New World at the same salary.