Unionists gathered outside a McDonald's restaurant in Tsim Sha Tsui yesterday to protest against the firm's labour practices and its use of local comic characters McMug and McDull in a promotional campaign. The protesters said the two cartoon pigs, favourites of Hong Kong children and whose names are not related to McDonald's, were being exploited by this month's giveaway of souvenirs and dolls. About 10 members of the Christian Industrial Committee and Hong Kong Confederation of Trade Unions performed a short play featuring McMug and McDull outside Kowloon Mosque before marching to the branch of the restaurant opposite the Star Ferry pier. In the drama, McMug and McDull die after eating too many hamburgers in the hope of getting toys from McDonald's. The unionists then staged a funeral procession to the restaurant where they set up a funeral shrine to mourn the characters. Tai Ngai-lung, programme officer of the committee, said: 'McMug and McDull, who were created in the late 1980s, symbolise the spirit of a simple life, friendship and environmental protection. But these characters are now being exploited by McDonald's, a transnational corporation known for its exploitation of cheap labour.' Mr Tai said Internet users had launched an online protest against the promotion.