Compensation talks between the government and poultry-delivery workers affected by a new law banning overnight stocking of live chickens by retailers broke down yesterday. Kowloon Poultry Transporter and Poulterer Association chairman Wong Tak-leung said members were offered HK$180,000 compensation for each truck licensed to carry live chickens, at a meeting with the director of Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation, Cheung Siu-hing. The group estimates about 120 transport workers are affected by the law, which became effective yesterday. Mr Wong said association members wanted HK$300,000 each. 'We have to pay about HK$100,000 to our workers as a severance payment, as most have worked for us since 1997,' he said. 'We need at least HK$200,000 to pay the first instalment on a new truck so that we can continue to work and transport other goods.' Trucks used to transport live chickens cannot transport other goods. Even if the trucks were converted to transport frozen chickens, expenditure of more than HK$100,000 would be required to install refrigerators and other facilities, he said. The group has sought help from legislator Vincent Fang Kang to arrange another meeting with the government. Secretary for Food and Health York Chow Yat-ngok said the trade had expressed its views on the ban on overnight stocking but the government package would compensate traders who chose to surrender their licences or tenancies. 'There is a limit to the amount of ex-gratia payments and not much room for adjustment.'