CLAUSES should be written into franchise agreements for the new airport to ensure 22,000 workers at Kai Tak will not lose their jobs, unionists and legislators said yesterday. They said franchisees should be required to provide retraining and travelling and housing allowances for workers taking up jobs at Chek Lap Kok. Labour representatives on the Legislative Council including Lau Chin-shek, Lee Kai-ming and Lee Cheuk-yan promised to write to the Secretary for Economic Services, Gordon Siu Kwing-chue. 'We will demand the Government include in the franchise contracts that local workers are given priority of employment,' said Mr Lau. 'We need to act now before all the contracts are signed.' Lau Wei-man, chairman of the Airport Air Freight Employees' Association, said many workers at Kai Tak were worried. 'We are not sure if all of us will be re-employed. We fear the companies will use the move as an excuse to replace local workers with foreign workers. 'Even if we get jobs, we should be given travelling or housing allowances. It is a long journey from the urban areas to Chek Lap Kok. How can we afford the time and travelling expenses?' Wai Wah-kon, 50, said he might consider giving up his job as a porter, despite 33 years' experience, because of the five-hour round-trip between his Wan Chai home and Chek Lap Kok. 'It's difficult for me to adapt to a completely new environment and Lantau Island is too far away,' he said. But Alice Law, 30, employed by Securair to handle departure tax for 10 years, said she had no choice but to work at Chek Lap Kok because of high unemployment. Some Cathay Pacific ground crew suggested the company provide dormitories because some shifts began at 5 am and others ended at 2.30 am. According to the Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Labour Unions, there are 25,000 people, including 3,000 civil servants, working at Kai Tak. They include 5,500 from the Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company, 2,000 from Hong Kong Air Cargo Terminals Ltd, 1,800 from Cathay Pacific Catering Services, 1,700 from Hong Kong Air Terminal Services and 1,500 from Securair security company. The federation's Poo Siu-ping called for schemes to help Kai Tak workers learn new technology. A spokesman for the Economic Services Branch said the views would be carefully considered. But she said the Government was not prepared to write clauses into the franchise contracts to guarantee new airport jobs for Kai Tak workers. Mr Siu has said that doing so might affect the operation, fees and charges of the new airport. The Provisional Airport Authority said whether Kai Tak workers would be employed at Chek Lap Kok would be decided by franchisees. The authority said the new airport would have a greater capacity and provide more jobs than Kai Tak so local, experienced workers need not worry. Maisie Shun Wah, a spokesman for Swire Group which owns parts of the companies involved, said it was too early to discuss how the group would settle its workers in the new airport. Chek Lap Kok will initially handle 35 million passengers and three million tonnes of cargo annually, almost double the capacity of Kai Tak.