About 40 people who work for a subsidiary of a bankrupt Hong Kong-listed company sought help from the Labour Department yesterday over claims for HK$2.75 million in compensation. The Tack Fat Manufacturing Factory employees said a letter from the liquidator of Tack Fat Group International on Monday had told them that the subsidiary would be unable to pay their salaries this month. But the liquidator, which took over the listed company in July, did not tell them whether the subsidiary would close down or continue to operate. 'Our company still operates, though the mother company was liquidated,' security guard Wong Pui said. 'We have tried to find the person in charge of both the mother and subsidiary companies, but we have failed. Some say he is hiding in Cambodia, as he owns factories there.' Mr Wong has worked for the Kwai Chung-based subsidiary for more than 20 years. 'We find it very strange,' he said. 'Why would the liquidator of the mother company inform the subsidiary company's employees that the subsidiary company does not have money to pay us our salaries? We are very worried now, as we don't know how to get our money.' Mr Wong said the director of the mother company, whom he described as an old friend, also had many other companies and had told the company accountant to ask him to sign many documents that made Mr Wong a director of seven companies without his knowledge. 'I didn't know what those documents were and I just signed, because we are old friends,' he said. 'I talked to my son three months ago about signing many documents at work, and he did a search on the internet and found out I was director of seven companies. 'I felt very worried, as the mother company went bankrupt at that moment. So my son helped me clear my name with those companies. Five have been cleared now and I still have to work on the other two.' Legislator Leung Yiu-chung, who is helping the workers, said that since the subsidiary company had not declared bankruptcy and had not been taken over by a liquidator, affected workers could not apply for help from the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund. Mr Leung called on the government to simplify the application procedures for the insolvency fund because so many workers had been affected by bankrupt companies recently. A Labour Department spokeswoman said it had registered the cases of 37 workers and would try to locate the person in charge of the company and see how it could help workers claim unpaid wages. Earlier in the day, about 20 self-employed technicians who had done work for Tai Lin Radio Service were given a chance to apply for help from the Protection of Wages on Insolvency Fund after a meeting with Labour Commissioner Cherry Tse Ling Kit-ching.