The Link Reit, which is embroiled in a dispute with its car-park security guards, has frozen pay and staffing plans until after it meets union members on Friday. The move follows talks yesterday with union representatives. Since last week, the security guards have held three protests and one strike to protest against plans to replace eight-hour shifts with 12-hour shifts. Workers say their hourly pay rate would drop from HK$28 to HK$23. Led by the Federation of Trade Unions, more than 100 security guards rallied outside The Link's Wong Tai Sin headquarters yesterday morning to reiterate their opposition to the new contracts and layoffs. They demanded immediate talks, forcing The Link to call a meeting for 1.15pm, an hour before a planned meeting with workers led by the Confederation of Trade Unions. After the first meeting, lawmaker Ip Wai-ming said: 'We have clearly expressed our opinions to chief executive Ian Robins. If we do not receive a satisfactory reply on Friday, we will step up our action. We may protest in Link shopping malls or ask our members to go on strike.' After the second meeting, lawmaker Lee Cheuk-yan said he had presented The Link Management with a 2006 Legislative Council document that showed the company had promised to retain eight-hour shifts. Mr Lee said The Link had said it was not aware of the document and would take it into account. Officials of The Link would not confirm Mr Lee's claims, but said a meeting would be held with union representatives on Friday to announce its decision. It said the new pay level conformed with the average stipulated in the government's quarterly report on wages and payrolls. Tsang Chi-yan, spokesman for the Hong Kong Building Management and Security Workers General Union, estimated 600 car-park guards, or half of those now employed, would be sacked if the proposals went ahead. Chow Oi-ling, who works in the Link car park at Butterfly Estate in Tuen Mun, said she had been told half of the 12 workers there would be sacked and was concerned about the effects on security and the workload. Ms Chow said there were four posts at the car park. Under the new plan there would be three workers instead of four on each shift, meaning one worker would have to man two posts. 'The arrangement is outrageous. How can The Link ask us to station two posts at a time?' she said. 'This is a loophole in security.'