Paladin staff have walked off the job on Manus Island over low pay and poor working conditions.

The Papua New Guinean employees of Pomwan Paladin Security have signed a letter addressed to Paladin management saying despite their “dedication and loyalty” to the firm, they are now being treated unfairly.

Employees say they have been underpaid, provided no risk allowances or overtime for shifts of up to 12 hours.

Staff who worked with the former contractor Broadspectrum say their pay was cut too.

Hundreds of employees reportedly left work to stage a sit-in in Lorengau on Tuesday.

“Our petition had been raised and we want Paladin to meet our demands,” one employee said.

It comes alongside continued scrutiny of Paladin’s $423 million contract and the limited tender the Australian government ran to award it.