A former staff member of the Hong Kong Productivity Council said she was unfairly sacked because of her leadership role in the staff union, the Labour Tribunal heard yesterday, as she demanded compensation and reinstatement. Lam Lai-yin, 45, vice-chairwoman of the council employees association, accused the council management team, including executive director Wilson Fung Wing-yip, of manipulating the staff appraisal system to give grounds for dismissing long-serving staff, many of whom were members of the union. Ms Lam, with 19 years' service, was stripped of her position as a project officer on June 11 last year, the tribunal heard. Council representative Au Ming-piu, the general manger of human resources and administration, said Ms Lam was sacked because of her continued substandard performance and unsatisfactory working attitude. Mr Au said Ms Lam was given a band-four rating, the lowest, by the appraisal board in September 2007 and was given a six-month grace period followed by another three months to improve. He said the dismissal strictly followed the council's termination policy. But Ms Lam, who suspected the credibility of the bad report, said it came a few days after she wrote to the council expressing staff opposition to a proposal to cut their medical benefits. Defending her working ability and good relationship with her supervisor, she submitted a 2006-2007 appraisal report to the tribunal. She was rated 7.5 out of 10. Witness Ho Lei-leun, a former team leader of the department in which Ms Lam worked, said she had heard from Ms Lam's supervisor that he was asked by the department head twice to modify Ms Lam's appraisal report to make it appear worse. Ms Ho, who resigned in February this year, said she had the impression the management team had a bad attitude towards union members. She described Ms Lam as a prudent, diligent and trustworthy subordinate. She said this was widely acknowledged in the department. Ms Ho said she was asked by the council executive director to distance herself from the union. Mr Au asked Ms Lam why the union chairman had never been ranked as substandard or sacked if management was biased against the union. The hearing continues today.