The extradition bill crisis has continued to divide Hong Kong society, with union members now complaining employers are sacking workers because of their opposition to the suspended legislation. The Confederation of Trade Unions said on Friday the organisation had recently received a range of complaints from frontline workers who said they had been unfairly treated – or fired – over their political views. Yoshinoya, the Japanese food chain, was the latest brand to be caught in the divisive extradition debate. The company’s Hong Kong branch was reported to have sacked employees over a Facebook advert that poked fun at the local police for removing notes from a “Lennon Wall”. Some workers said it is more difficult to ask for leave because their supervisors knew what they were planning to do in their free time Mung Siu-tat, chief executive of the Confederation of Trade Unions But it is not just Yoshinoya; Mung Siu-tat, the chief executive of the pro-democracy confederation, said that in the past two to three weeks his group had received at least seven requests for help from workers. “Some workers said it is more difficult to ask for leave because their supervisors knew what they were planning to do in their free time,” Mung said. In some cases it was no secret the workers intended to spend their leave at extradition protests, he said. “Some said their situations at work were more difficult because their political positions were very different from their superiors.” In one case, Mung said a worker claimed to have been fired by a boss who was openly pro-establishment. Mung said most of these complaints involved small and medium-sized enterprises, rather than big corporations or chain franchises. “That is why we are worried the Yoshinoya case could become a very bad model,” Mung said. Although the confederation had not received any complaint or help requests from Yoshinoya staff members, the group staged a protest at the chain’s Yau Ma Tei outlet on Friday because of reports of the alleged sacking. The protest commenced after local news media reported that Marvin Hung Ming-kei, the chief executive officer of Hop Hing Group, which owns the Yoshinoya franchises in Hong Kong, said he had fired employees over recent posts. The Facebook advert was posted after police were mobilised on Wednesday to remove Lennon Wall messages that exposed personal details of police in Tai Po. The post urged customers to stop referring to the traditional Japanese food chikuwa – which is available at Yoshinoya outlets – as si zi gau , which means “lion dog”. In Cantonese, the name sounds similar to “dog that tears paper”. Local media quoted Hung as saying he knew nothing about the controversial Facebook post before it was published, and immediately had it removed. Hung was also quoted as saying that staff members responsible for the advert were fired and the contract with the company that created the post was terminated. But the agency that helped create the advertisement, Social Strategy Hong Kong, said no one in Yoshinoya or the agency had been fired. The agency did not comment on its contract with the local Yoshinoya franchises. The advertising post in question could no longer be found on Yoshinoya’s Facebook page. Another post published on Friday claimed the company’s social media team remained intact, with a hashtag insisting that all the team’s members were still employed. The Post has reached out to Hop Hing Group for comment. So far, social media users have urged more than 40 brands to withdraw ads from the city’s largest television station TVB, leaving comments on the companies’ Facebook pages urging them not to place ads with the broadcaster. Mooncake manufacturers are among the latest targets online activists have threatened to boycott if they advertise on TVB, as the city approaches the peak season for the festive pastry – Mid-Autumn Festival in September. Most of the companies did not respond to the comments. But the paper tissue brand Tempo was among the few that did. The company replied on its Facebook page that its ads on TVB had ended and that it would review its promotion strategies.