Aircraft workers said last night that they would go on strike if management refused to negotiate with them in their pay dispute. The agreement was reached by representatives of about 1,000 workers from the Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (Haeco) at a meeting last night. This month they began work-to-rule action, demanding management negotiate with them over a move to cut overtime allowances up to 16 per cent. Haeco bosses, who cited falling business as the reason for the cuts, have steadfastly refused to negotiate, claiming most workers accept the new deal. But union chiefs have twice threatened to widen the go-slow, which could lead to flights being affected. The strike threat was confirmed by a spokesman for the Confederation of Trade Unions, Tam Chung-yin, following the Haeco Employees' Union meeting last night. Mr Tam said workers were being urged not to hand in letters saying whether they agreed to the new pay deal by the November 15 deadline. He said that if the company wanted to cut costs, it should reduce the salaries of those in the middle and upper levels of Haeco, the SAR's biggest aircraft maintenance company. The employment of replacement engineers from outside if the industrial action begins to bite has also become an issue, with the unions claiming the move could compromise safety. The Civil Aviation Department is monitoring the situation and says flight safety and scheduling have not been affected.