TurboJet to reportedly cut staff salaries up to 12%

TurboJet, the oldest ferry company operating maritime transportation in the Pearl River Delta, is preparing to reduce the salary of the majority of its employees, reported Hong Kong news outlet Oriental Daily News.
The Oriental Daily News report cited sources from company staff and documents disclosed by the employees, revealing that, under the management of Shun Tak-China Travel Ship Management Limited, the company informed staff from both the Hong Kong and Macau branches of the imminent wage reduction in a briefing session.
The scheme introduces wage cuts of 12% for those earning above HKD70,000 per month. Those earning monthly salaries between HKD30,000 and HKD70,000 will see a 10% cut to their wages, while those earning between HKD10,000 and HKD30,000 will have their wages cut by 8%. Only company staff earning salaries below the HKD10,000 ceiling will not be affected by the change.
According to the documents accessed by the Hong Kong media, the salary reduction scheme will be effective as of February 1.
Employees of the company further revealed that they would have until January 16 to sign an acceptance agreement relating to the measure, or would otherwise face dismissal.
Macau Daily Times attempted to reach Shun Tak-China Travel Ship Management for comment, but no reply was received by press time.
The Hong Kong media outlet said that several posters have been found in various locations, especially at the Hong Kong Macau Ferry Terminal in Sheung Wan, which express workers’ displeasure with the announcement.
According to a Hong Kong Federation of Trade Unions Legislative Council member who spoke with Oriental News Daily, the measure had not been negotiated with staff.
The measure will affect around 1,000 staff members since, according to information from the HK Federation of Trade Unions (HKFTU), almost all the employees of TurboJet earn a salary above HKD10,000.
The same source added that since the last quarter of 2019, the company has been taking measures aimed at “[getting] rid of workers,” adding that they forced staff to take at least three days of unpaid leave per month.
The same representative of the HKFTU added that the significant cut on the higher payroll earners is a “dismissal in disguise” for vessel captains, the only ones earning such wages.
The measures come as ferry operators have struggled to adapt to a new reality in the Pearl River Delta, brought about by the operation of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge – an alternative to ferry services – and the political unrest in nearby Hong Kong which has deterred visitors from traveling to the neighboring SAR.
TurboJet reported HKD70 million in losses in the first half of 2019, down from the HKD186 million profit in the same period a year earlier. It attributed the loss to a 32% year-on-year drop in the number of passengers on account of “changing travel patterns resulting from the opening of the Hong Kong-Zhuhai-Macau Bridge.”

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