Hongkong and Yaumati Ferry (HYF) staff face a pay cut amid fears some may lose their jobs when a new operator takes over next month. The Small Craft Workers Union yesterday said talks with New World First Ferry over pay and working conditions of HYF employees who might join the new company had been completed. HYF sold eight of its outlying islands and cross-harbour routes to the new operator last month following a series of run-ins with angry passengers after it was granted a three-year operating licence in April. The takeover will come into effect from January 15. The union claimed the new operator had initially proposed a simplified new pay package that would see staff taking home on average 10 per cent less. Both parties eventually accepted the cut should only be about five per cent. But union chairman Hung Bing warned that not all HYF workers would be able to hold on to their jobs when the changeover took place. 'From my preliminary calculation, about 20 to 30 HYF staff may find themselves joining the jobless army from midnight on January 15 because there are no suitable vacancies in the new company for them,' he said. New World First Ferry said the new pay package was in line with the industry's current climate and it had offered a higher basic pay than HYF as well as a goodwill payment of $500.