As Hong Kong's 160,000 civil servants move a step closer to securing a pay rise of between 5.15 and 7.24 per cent, workers at Kowloon Motor Bus and the MTR Corp are battling for a wage increase of no less than 7 per cent. Seven MTR unions, representing more than half of the rail operator's 12,000 staff, said yesterday a pay rise of at least 7 per cent should be given due to soaring inflation, which stood at 4.6 per cent last month, the highest in 21/2 years. 'Last year, the company offered us a pay rise of 2.5 per cent. We need a bigger pay rise this year to try to catch up with inflation,' Rainbow Lau Choy-hung, chairwoman of the KCR officers union said. The unions also want higher allowances and annual payroll increments. 'Industrial action may be taken if our demand is not answered by July,' Lau said. KMB's 10,000 workers also want a 7.5 per cent increase in July. Chung Kin-wa, of the Motor Transport Workers General Union, said the demands had nothing to do with the civil servants' pay rise, just increasing inflation.