UNIONISTS yesterday called for legislation to be introduced to protect workers from being 'unreasonably' sacked. The move follows a surge in redundancies in recent weeks. The Federation of Hong Kong and Kowloon Labour Unions said it had received 18 complaints this month, involving almost 300 workers, representing a 50 per cent increase compared with last year. The revelation added weight to unionists' warnings that the jobless problem had not eased and the rate might go up again after the Lunar New Year. Government figures released on Friday showed the jobless rate had dipped from 3.5 per cent to 3.3 per cent last month, while under-employment rose slightly by 0.1 percentage point to 2.5 per cent. The federation accused some unscrupulous bosses of sacking staff to avoid paying the traditional Lunar New Year bonus. The worst hit were the catering, retail and wholesale, and transport sectors, the federation said. Federation spokesman Poon Siu-ping said the Government should introduce laws to protect workers from being 'unreasonably' dismissed and increase the fine against bosses. 'It is an important right of workers that they should not be dismissed unfairly.' Mr Poon also urged the Government to carry out measures to reverse the recession.