A 56-year-old former Hong Kong Jockey Club cleaner, who attempted suicide last month after being fired, has demanded an explanation for her 'unreasonable' dismissal. But the club insisted Lai Mei-yuk was dismissed for poor performance. Ms Lai, who worked for the club for 21 years, said she had received three warning letters within three months, which vaguely stated that she 'did poorly' and 'does not have team spirit'. But she said she had done nothing wrong. 'I was very angry and almost collapsed after knowing I was fired,' Ms Lai said. 'I wanted to kill myself not because of money. I just did not understand why the company could do that to me.' She threatened to jump from the clubhouse at the Sha Tin racecourse on March 29. According to the club's practice, an employee is fired after three warning letters, regardless of whether the staff member says the criticism is unjustified. Ms Lai earned $9,500 a month working in a clubhouse restaurant. She said the club's intention to sack her - instead of asking her to retire - was to save about $30,000. 'I asked the manager why I was fired but that person could not answer me properly,' she said. 'I was willing to leave if I was compensated as a retired staff member, but not fired.' She was given about $410,000 as she left - including a month's pay as compensation. She said she would have received $30,000 more if she had been treated as retired. Ms Lai said she joined a three-month training programme to show management that she was capable of carrying out her duties, but management began to criticise her performance after she took about 10 days of sick leave last year because of back pain. 'I was graded more poorly after I received training,' she said. Ms Lai is now supported by her daughter. She said she demanded a proper explanation from the club and demanded $30,000 back as she should be treated as retired staff. Sung Chee-tak, general secretary of Hong Kong Jockey Club Workers' General Union, said Ms Lai's plight was a situation faced by long-serving club employees. 'The club's treatment of the employees is getting worse. Those who are more senior in age and with illnesses are targeted in particular,' he said. A club spokeswoman said Ms Lai failed to handle her duties properly and had received a total of nine warning letters. She said the termination of Ms Lai's contract was based purely on her disappointing performances, not about her duration of service. Ms Lai attempted to jump from a balcony of the clubhouse premise in Sha Tin a week after she was fired. She was talked down by negotiators.