A senior operator at Star Paging told how she believed the company had tried to force workers to quit before yesterday's lay-offs. May Mak said that she was dumbfounded and angry when she found she had been sacked. 'The company is really underhand. 'I have worked for the company since 1995 and now I get this.' Ms Mak, 30, had worked as a part-time operator since March 1995 and changed to full-time operator in October the following year. The company refused to give her severance pay as a long-serving staff member. 'We had to work from 9am to 6pm without a break. 'We couldn't even go to the toilet more than three times a day and when we did, we couldn't go for more than six minutes otherwise we would be scolded and given a warning. 'We didn't dare ask for leave even when we were sick because we were afraid the company would use it as an excuse to fire us. 'Two weeks ago, the company began to force us to quit. Every Sunday, there would be a lot of noise from the upper floor, making it difficult to concentrate. 'Sometimes there was also a lot of bad smells like paint thinner. I nearly fainted. 'If you couldn't concentrate and made any mistake, the company would use that as an excuse to fire you.' Fan Kwok-fai, the executive Secretary of Hong Kong Telecom Employees Union, said there had been many complaints from operators but the company had done nothing. Ms Mak said she didn't know what to do after being sacked. 'We have acquired no skill other than typing from this job and we don't have any working experience other companies would appreciate. 'I am the breadwinner of my family as both of my parents moved to the mainland. 'Now, I feel really gutted and don't know what to do.'