Sacked Northwest Airlines cabin crew based in Hong Kong yesterday petitioned the Labour Department and the company following the rejection of a request for a meeting with the carrier. The airline blamed the industry downturn since the September 11 attacks for its decision to sack 30 of its 61 flight attendants last week, saying too few staff had volunteered for pay-cut options. Twenty-two sacked flight attendants yesterday marched in protest from the Labour Department in Sheung Wan to the airline's headquarters in Central. They were joined by 15 members from the Staff and Workers Union of Hong Kong Civil Airlines and unionist legislators Chan Yuen-han and Chan Kwok-keung. A Labour Department spokeswoman said they were attempting to arrange a conciliatory meeting but if the airline refused to co-operate there was nothing the Government could do. Sacked attendant Sylvia Tse Sau-wai said they wanted to meet management to discuss the possibility of being reinstated or at least paid more compensation than the offer of one one month's pay plus pro-rata entitlements. 'We have tried our best to co-operate with them, surely there must be room for negotiations,' Ms Tse said. 'But we feel abandoned by them because they don't have the guts to talk to us.' Northwest Airlines marketing director (Asia) Ray Nishihira said he accepted the group's protest letter on behalf of the company but they were not in a position to negotiate over jobs or payouts.