About 100 workers protested at the Kwai Chung container terminal yesterday, claiming they are owed more than $5 million in wages and severance payments. They worked for a subcontractor hired by terminal operator Modern Terminals, and say they were made redundant without full compensation. MTL has ended its contract with the subcontractor, Chinagold Transportation. The contract with the subcontractor was supposed to end this Thursday, but MTL ended it a week before. The terminal operator said Chinagold had not been given a new contract after a tendering process conducted over the past few months. But it declined to provide the reasons for not renewing the contract. It also would not reveal the identity of the new stevedoring subcontractor. 'Modern Terminals has discussed with its new stevedoring contractor about offering employment to suitable candidates from among Chinagold's employees,' MTL said yesterday. 'Arrangements have been made for terminal operations to continue smoothly, and for all services to Modern Terminals' customers and other terminal users to be maintained during the transition period.' During the protest that began at about 8.15am, disgruntled workers blocked the terminal's exits, forcing trucks entering and leaving the terminal to take detours. They also staged a sit-in outside the terminal operator's office. The stevedoring workers demanded that MTL pay compensation and back wages on behalf of Chinagold. A meeting was eventually held in the afternoon between the workers, with the Transport and Logistics Workers Union helping them as well as the companies involved. This came after an intervention by the Labour Department, which is helping to mediate the dispute. There were no immediate comments from the parties involved last night.