Trade union bosses said yesterday that Cathay Pacific's decision to axe 350 jobs owed more to company restructuring than relocating to Chek Lap Kok. Confederation of Trade Unions executive secretary Elizabeth Tang Yin-ngor said the job losses were avoidable because there was still work. Cathay had simply chosen to sub-contract some of its supporting services, she said. Last night, the airline said the redundancies were in response to the 'new operational environment' that would exist when Chek Lap Kok opened in April. They denied the losses were aimed at trimming the payroll. A spokesman said: 'With the shift of base from Kai Tak to Chek Lap Kok next year, we are going to subcontract some of the supporting services to other companies. 'We are looking at staff needs for the new environment. In some areas we will need more staff, in others we will need less staff.' Ms Tang said: 'It's the way Cathay has restructured itself, rather than relocation. The work is still pretty much the same, it is just going to be done by subcontractors. 'Some of the workers have contacted us and expressed their anxiety. It looks like most of them are not union members. We feel it is a very unfortunate situation.' Vehicle workshop staff will be among the first to lose their jobs in September. Maintenance workers such as cleaners and gardeners will leave next year as Cathay moves all its facilities to the new airport. Cathay has more than 4,000 employees.