Thursday, November 29, 2012

Singapore : Zero Tolerance for Strikes.......

UPDATE: I was going through the comments and saw a few that claimed that I'm mistaken that these drivers are not allowed to go on strike as "essential services" workers. All they need to do is give 14 days notice then go on strike. Are you really so naive to think  so? 14 days is enough for the authorities to round the instigators up under other sections of the law before any strike can take place - and there are many other parts of the law they can use to do this. 

The term "essential services" cover a broad range of industries [Link] include telcos, postal services...even the refused collector and weatherman are providing an "essential service" based on the legal definition.  


--------------
"Taking the law into your own hands is not acceptable under any circumstances - certainly especially when it involves essential services." - Tan Chuan Jin[Link]

I have encountered quite a few strikes overseas. Once I was in Greece and all the public transport workers went on strike and I had to walk 5 kilometers carrying a backpack to catch a ferry. I've seen strikes at airports when baggage handlers stopped work and baggages pile up at the airport and planes can't take off. Once I was in a US city where all the janitors (cleaners) went on strike - you really understand how important cleaners are when toilets start to stink. The strike by janitors appeared  justified - many were fed up because they were not paid by employers, some were non-documented immigrants bullied by employers who knew they were too afraid to go to authorities, authorities ignored the plight of these workers for years. Within 1 week, with toilets all over the city started to get unbearably smelly, the authroities gave in and promised to go after errant employers.

In Singapore, strikes are illegal unless sanctioned by the minister in charge of the union. The last minister to sanction a strike was late President Ong Teng Cheong in 1986. He did so without seeking the opinion of his colleagues because he knew that they would stop him[Link]. Quite incredibly there were no reported strikes since 1986, a gap of 26 years, until 2 days ago when a group of 102 PRC bus drivers decided not to report for work when they found out they were not given the same pay increment as Malaysian bus drivers. They were also unhappy with living conditions - 10 people to a room and a stealth pay cut when overtime hours were incorporated into regular working hours. I think I'll leave it to SMRT to explain themselves for what appears to be really unfair and unequal treatment of their workers. Whatever your opinion of the foreign labor policy, I think most people agree that once we take them into our workforce we have to treat foreigners fairly...if we allow foreigners to be exploited, it will ultimately hurt Singaporeans in the workforce because employers habitually exploit foreign workers will do the same to Singaporeans. It is ironic that the PAP govt urges Singaporeans to integrate with foreigners but SMRT, a GLC,  doesn't appear to treat its foreign employees fairly .

Workers don't go on strike because it is illegal and no PAP minister today will sanction one. For many workers if they are not happy with the work conditions, they will just quit and try to find another job. A few years ago I posted about how the extremely poor contractual terms for  low wage workers especially cleaners[Link] had become widespread in May 2007. It took about 5 years before the mainstream media started discussing this problem[March 2012 Undercutting, bad contracts depress cleaners' pay] and for unions to call for fairer standardized clauses for cleaners. It was only late this year that they received some improvement in their wages after suffering more than a decade of declining wages[Link].

While strikes are not a good thing, they are sometimes necessary. Having no strikes for 26 years does not reflect healthy industrial relations but a lopsided one.  Workers sometimes keep silent about frustrating unhappy situations as they feel the system works against them and they have little power to change it. Employers can behave any way they want so long as they don't do anything illegal. They can cut pay, extend working hours, cancel your benefits, retrench workers with little compensation and practise ageism. It is sometimes argued that the less rights workers have, the more investments will come to Singapore to create jobs for Singaporeans. But raising the quality of life is not about jobs alone.

In many countries, the right to go on strike is recognised and some countries even have it in their enshrined in their constitutions. This is one of the rights Singaporeans traded away for overall economic gain. Perhaps we had it good for a while in the 80s and early 90s when jobs were abundant, workers were treasured because the labor market was tight, and businesses compete for workers by paying and treating them well. The 'happy' problem for workers in the 80s and 90s was job-hopping and that kept employers on their toes to ensure working conditions are good and workers are well paid. This situation changed when the PAP govt opened the floodgaes to foreign labor....we start the see the transition from a situation in which workers are treasured to a "hire-fire" and "cheaper is better" situation for workers. Things started to deteriorate fast for low wage workers and older workers....and these workers can't do anything about it because their power and rights have already been taken away.

When I was a kid, my neighbor was a bus driver. Today, the bus companies like to use this lofty term "bus captain" instead of the more humble "bus driver". But the bus driver of the 80s makes a decent living and the "bus captain" today struggle to make ends meet. My neighbor raised a family with 6 kids and owned HDB flat on his bus driver's salary. He had 6 kids because he wanted a boy and the first 5 children were girls. You look at how those drivers who went on strike were housed - 10 to a room in the dorm - and the low wages they were paid. It just pulls down what the bus companies will offer for local drivers. Bus companies complained that they need more foreigner drivers because they were not willing to pay wages adjusted for the high and rising cost of living in Singapore. Things are so bad at SMRT, even workers from a developing world country can't accept the way they are managed and went on strike.  If these workers are seen as providing important essential services and will never be allowed to strike, why aren't they paid well to ensure the availability of these services - the 2 former generals from SAF, one in charge of the manpower, the other CEO of SMRT should know better...we don't pay our SAF regulars peanuts like we do our drivers.

Just last year, SMRT reported the highest profits in its history and its former CEO Saw was the highest paid SMRT CEO in history. The wealth transfer from low wage Singaporeans workers to  business owners and higher management as a consequence of PAP foreign labor policy is clearly seen here.

Minister Tan Chuan Jin said that the PRC bus drivers have "crossed the line". Let us not forget that it is the PAP govt that shifted this line....and the strike action by these drivers remind us how Singapore workers have been disempowered and stripped of their rights. While some segments of our society are critical of the strike action by these drivers, we have to remember how Singaporeans have been conditioned to simply accept what is unfair and unjust simply because we cannot change it and our pro-business govt will come down hard on disobedience to make examples of those who try to initiate change. What the drivers have done is what people else where in many democratic developed countries would have done if faced with the same level of discrimination. The only difference is the PAP govt has made such action illegal when it is a basic right in many other countries.

The PAP govt has stepped forward to say they have "zero tolerance" for the strike action[Link]. We never hear the PAP leaders talk about "zero tolerance" for exploitation of low wage workers, "zero tolerance" for unfairness at workplace, "zero tolerance" for low wages and poor benefits..."zero tolerance" for poor treatment of elderly workers. The PAP govt has great tolerance for inequality that has emerged in our society. But they have "zero tolerance" for those who are brave enough to stand up against injustice. Singaporean workers gave up their rights for benefits that never materialised ....we should have "zero tolerance" for such an unfair and unjust situation.

213 comments:

1 – 200 of 213   Newer›   Newest»
TAP said...

Thought-provoking. Good article.

TAP

Anonymous said...

I dislike paying more than $380 a month for my maid even though she provides an essential service because I have gotten away with underpaying her all these years.

Lye Khuen Way said...

We unfortunately, as normal citizens could not enforce the "zero tolerance" concept for too many trampling over of our liberties and rights that others enjoyed.

Anonymous said...

I have zero tolerance on the minister getting million dollars salary and yet producing this type of lousy results and zero tolerance on PAP dominating the Parliament.

Anonymous said...

Well said, exploitation is rampant now for low wage workers and our gov is to blame. Always giving the excuse of productivity to suppress pay for the low wage earners and paying themselves exorbitantly. Companies are following them with senior management getting all the benefits. President doing nothing but paid millions that is productivity?

Anonymous said...

"Companies are following them with senior management getting all the benefits."

It will be interesting to find out which political party the senior management belongs to.
As if we don't know ....?

Anonymous said...

Does the PAP government have zero tolerance for corporate imcompetence as in the case of the former CEO of SMRT? Clearly this latest incident is not the doing of the current CEO but the former sales girl who pretended to be an engineer and transport chief. Did she have to pay back her undeserved remuneration?

patriot said...

It is a damn sin to exploit workers and the people.

And

it is damn despicable people that scheme
all the ploys to exploit workers.

patriot

Anonymous said...

Cool, isn't it? Just legislate away all your troubles: opposition, accountability...

They might just do that, since majority doesn't seem to care what happens...

Anonymous said...

I thought Harry would come charging into the fray with his knuckle dusters? What happened? Wobbly knees?

Hahahahaha! Time's up...

Anonymous said...

Probably leaky adult diapers ...

Anonymous said...

We have to wait till the house is burning before the 60.1% will realise and join us to vote the rapidly incompetent party out.

Anonymous said...

The idiots have to go. It doesn't matter what they do. Idiots are idiots.

Anonymous said...

Yes, they don't seem to have zero tolerance for their seemingly and imorally high salary!high

Anonymous said...

>This situation changed when the PAP govt opened the floodgaes to foreign labor....Things started to deteriorate fast for low wage workers and older workers....and these workers can't do anything about it because their power and rights have already been taken away.

Singaporeans must be very grateful to these bus drivers from PRC. They are here to create jobs, for without FTs, Singaporeans will have to go a begging with their wives, daughters and mothers whoring in some foreign land to remit monies home.

Padaly said...

Well done! You just spoke up for the dispossed striped if basic rights wretched workers. Often, workers complt not of pay but basic humane working conditions. They thought that locals like to strike? They brainwashed us that strike is bad and we must follow the western countries. Hence, bosses take advantage and exploit workers. The latter had no avenue to turn to cuz unions also control by them. Thank you for speaking up for workers.

Anonymous said...

Finally, after 3 days, I see someone making a fair statement on "bus driver striking". As a Chinese, it is really disappointing to see the comments on TV and on internet. It is not about Chinese or Singaporean, it's about justice.

Anonymous said...

Your last paragraph says it all, Lucky.

Anonymous said...

10 people in one fucking room or bunk with bedbugs, underpaid, long hours. Doesn't that sound like NS?

Anonymous said...

An article that ignored various facts and played up the term "zero tolerance" out of the context it was used. A. In most developed nations, the right to strike is preserved but the need to inform the authorities about impending strikes is enforced. This is to reduce chaos, lost of lives and damage to property and lost of essential services. all this is to safe guard the economy and the livelihood of its citizens. B. Zero tolerance was referred to non sanctioned industry strike that did not follow our national law and constitution. Not that all strikes are ILLEGAL. So, think. Did we roll out tanks and tear gas? No. Govt and smrt heard their grievances. Secondly, did we silence their right to the press? Now think of the wider issue, is equal pay the answer? That's a very naive look at the labour situation. If you read the interview on bus drivers from various nationality you will have a new insight. Everyone thinks they are hard done and screwed over, including the Singaporeans. But if these strikes are universally supported by a generation that have not understood the consequences of riots in the 70s because of the relative peace they enjoy then we are in trouble. Lastly, this will bite the Ass of the very supporters that claim the need for "rise of equaliser", prepare for higher inflation, higher social cost and cost of living. later there will be more complains on ineffectual governance. Sure, rant ahead but think also of the solutions, balance and process required. Join the SG conversation, learn the policies and the thought behind it. Dont just rant and troll. Be part of the Singapore, be a responsible citizen. cheers

Anonymous said...

Great article. Spot on with regard to self serving PAP

Anonymous said...

Wow.
PAP troll have no concept of using the Paragraph!

Anonymous said...

Saw draw about $1.5m in SMRT. Now if each worker is given $200 more per month, it add up to $480K per year for about 200 drivers. So the solution is quite easy, just cut senior management pay by 20% and you can find this amount quite easily.I think the ceo of smrt should get no more than $350K per year.

Anonymous said...

"The PAP govt has great tolerance for inequality that has emerged in our society."
Lucky Tan

You are barking up the wrong tree.

It is the 60% who voted PAP, not PAP govt, that has great tolerance for inequality that has emerged in our society.

Because it is easier to have great tolerance for inequality than to be better alternative to PAP.

Anonymous said...

It is not easy to reduce inequality, unfair or unjust situation in Singapore society. Don't believe, just ask Chee Soon Juan.

If opposition can do that, 60% would have voted them, and not PAP, to be govt.

But it is easy to blog and comment about it.

Anonymous said...

Fear not inflation and high cost of living. Scandinavian countries have that for decades and they still have their shirts.

Pay higher wages period.

CEO and management have enjoyed perks, options and high salaries from profits earned from the backs of lower grade employees.

Pay the toilet cleaners $1500 per month. If they do not meet KPI sack them. It is justified.

Yet, employers see red when lower ranks earn too much and they insist on widening the difference.

The shit from any arse hole smells just the same regardless if caviar was eaten with champagne or kopi o with bread.

Increase wages and don't tell me that it is impossible. We need to change the management.

Anonymous said...

We need to change the management.
Anon 29/11/12 13:20

Just like change for a better govt, it is easier said than done.

Anonymous said...

Don't go on strike. Use your vote and it is easy.

Just too bad lah, if your vote is not majority, say 60%.

Anonymous said...

One thing good coming from this strike action by the PRC bus drivers.
They are teaching us that people have balls and not to swallow everything down our throats.
Govt trampling on our basic rights, passing unfair laws to solve problems by virtue of their domineering members in Parliament, engineered by the unfair GRC system.

Anonymous said...

The government does not mandate minimum wages. So locals have to seek better paying jobs. Employees bring in even cheaper foriegn workers and wages keep getting depressed. My wife as a staff nurse was only paid about $2,000 per month, with the foreign ones learning even less. She left for Australia and earns A$4500 per month. Hospitalisation is more expensive here than Australia but yet the salary of nursing staff is so low, becuase the hospitals are reaping gross profits

Anonymous said...

"My wife as a staff nurse was only paid about $2,000 per month, with the foreign ones learning even less."
Anon 29/11/12 13:55

This is due to market forces working against nurses here lah.

You think doctors and specialists, even foreign ones, are paid mediocre or even low?

Anonymous said...

But how to be CEO or manager and not a worker?

Anonymous said...

hehe chinese used to say 'if we all spit at the same time your little island will drown'. but i think if all the chinese and malaysians leave at the same time, sg will indeed crumble. i hate to think it is true. no point to buy the latest toy in the air when we are so vulnerable.

Ghost said...

I posted on this as well. I think the government really need to look into the poor living conditions of the Chinese workers. Singapore must hold a GLC like SMRT to a higher standard than some small no-name SMEs. If the allegations are true, it is an embarrassment and a disgrace to Singapore.

Anonymous said...

At last the pple who back the PAP route are finally producing some decent arguments, instead of relying on the brainless drivel that's become their hallmark. But guys you still have a long way to go for thinking readers/citizens.

Even better to see that embarrassment to the PAP, who perpetually pointed out What to Do, 60% voted for the PAP, Lucky should stand for election, is not commenting. (Or am I too early in reading this piece?)

It is unfortunate that those who argue for the PAP forget that wages is only ONE part of costs. There is no reason why it should be the Only part kept down. Things like property taxes, recently raised by more than 100%, is also part of costs. As is the absurd 156% hike in cleaning fees at hawker centres, supposedly for training. Ditto for rentals and a huge bunch of other things.

One wonders how pple managed a couple of decades ago, when wages were reasonable. Our inflation wasn't as high -- as other costs were down -- pple could afford homes, the cost of living was ok. So the arguments for tekan-ing pple on wages cannot hold. Neither can the current bullying and poor treatment of foreign workers.

It is also about time that we stopped looking down on pple who do "dirty" jobs. You may not need an A in school to do them, but you must surely also have some skill, not to mention pride in your work, honesty, integrity and all the other qualities needed in "clean" jobs.

Also, while we can have 172 administrators and pen pushers go on strike without feeling it, we are in deep shit if 172 cleaners or bus drivers do. So really, who is more essential?

BTW Lucky, a wonderful wallop in your final paragraf. There's been too much cherry picking when it comes to what the phrase 'zero tolerance' is applied to.

The said...

If only the government has implemented Lim Chong Yah's "shock therapy" to bring up the salary of the low-income earners, instead of running it down.

So, now they have a taste of this "shock therapy" - a once in 26 years "refusal to work".

patriot said...

Anyone found behaving disorderly?

No report of anyone calling the Police, non nearby was disturbed or perturbed.

And You talking like as if everything was in chaos.

Too imaginative lah.

Many here and elsewhere are over sixty in age oredi, born since Colonial Day Sir.

patriot

Padaly said...

"The shit from any arse hole smells just the same regardless if caviar was eaten with champagne or kopi o with bread." Hahaha! What a way to put it so graphically!

Fact is no pay rise for me since year 2000! Fact is those who join now still getting same pay as in 2000! Fact is everything keeps going up. I'm sure you are aware. Fact is our CPF min sum and MediSsve keep going up in line with inflation. They understand this fact but they pretend not to know that our pay remains stagnant! Yes Lucky Tan is correct to say there is zero tolerance on income disparity! Every retard knows our income can never be equal. What he's trying to point out is the huge income gap & disparity!

Anonymous said...

So, what can the non-elite class of Singaporeans do about this?

Anonymous said...

PM Lee Hsein Loong did not and will not arrest all the bus drivers who went on strike, most of them has gone bk to work, this goes to show the laws he helped to enact are unjust and plain oppressive.
True to form, at the first sign of trouble, the tough talking bully, cowardlee is no where in sight.

If he cannot get the police to arrest all of them, surely, he can always sue the shit out of them clean in court and fix them for daring to challenge and insinuate there are capitalistic exploitation of the working class under his authoritarian care.
This fix will look legit to all and the international community.

Joshua Chiang

Anonymous said...

You also have not stated facts truhfully. In other countries, unionas just need to INFORM the authorities and public on an impending strike. In Singapore, you have to get PERMISSION from the Union and then the Manpower Minister, whereby both these entities are not independent in theory and practise.

Also, by requiring bosses to pay more to non-management workers, inflation will rise like you stated. But you did not explain clearly why. Bosses will want to keep their own salaries and their companies' earnings intact. Some will be profiteering given any opportunity. The solution is for Governmental intervention to require bosses to take the hit. This will ensure little inflation as well as to narrow.the income inequalities. How will the Government do this? If it can decree no minim wage, it can decree maximum wage. If there is a will, details can be worked out. Lim Chong Yah also thinks along his line.

Anonymous said...

Zero tolerance or not.
Under PAP rule.
You got benefit or not?

Even if Singapore Reserves got $100 trillion dollars in cash.
You think Singaporean citizen will benefit or not?

Augustin said...

I wonder whether this article has been too hasty in judging that the bus drivers' cause is legitimate.

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/smrt-bus-drivers-speak-up-on-china-co-workers%E2%80%99-pay-172843952.html

This article should throw some questions. Is the pay really discriminatory given that they have lodging provided? Were they unaware of the living conditions and wages before they signed the contract? Were they misled into taking up the job? Did they have the opportunity to join a trade union?

If the answers to the above questions are "no", then the strikes are unjust, whether legal or other wise. If the answers are "yes", then I do agree with you that some measures must be taken to rectify the situation. Until we understand more about the situation, let's not be too hasty to judge.

As for my own personal opinion, from what I gather so far, the workers have not justification to strike.

Anonymous said...

"
This article should throw some questions. Is the pay really discriminatory given that they have lodging provided? Were they unaware of the living conditions and wages before they signed the contract? Were they misled into taking up the job? Did they have the opportunity to join a trade union?"

does this type of questions sound stupid ?

It is like saying caveat emptor, workers beware, no one ask you to sign such contract, should do due diligence ? Is it not the govt promotes as just and first world country ? How come such thing happens ?

Does it not sound like some foreigners and locals getting con and scam by some sellers in Lucky Plaza, and the answer is you can give is "why didn't you join the CASE ?"

Anonymous said...

Tan si lor.

Wait to be slaughtered lah

Ridzwan Khalid said...

How I'd wish this article is written by any of the PAP MPs. But no? Why do they always think otherwise??? Really a party agaist the people...


Anonymous said...

This is all simply mischievous. The strike would *not* be illegal if 14 days' notice was provided before hand. So its not true to say that ALL strikes are illegal.

Anonymous said...

Fear ye the simple parallels between economies and populations structured differently. Raise wages and see if we still got our shirts after other emerging economies beat us on both price and talent. All shit stinks, but there is a diff in the odour depending on what u eat. Managing an economy requires the sophistication to know the difference.

Anonymous said...

Thats cos they pay more taxes too and their medical treatment is subsidised maybe?

Anonymous said...

Or maybe not blame everyone for your problems and try to see that you dont have to be elite to have a decent living by maybe working harder? In bo society does a good income, good food and nice house fall on your lap. A bus driver abode is humble anywhere. A lawyer is nearly always rich anywhere. Its not the game, its the player.

Anonymous said...

Currency reserves are used to maintain the value of the SGD against others makin you more able to intervene in the market when needed. The larger the war chest, the less orhers try to do a run on you. Many orher countries run huge reserves for that reason. Its not a spare govt bank account to do nothing at all. I hate it when people just want to redistribute money and not think why its there in the first place. Make your own damn money and stop asking for handouts. Most of that money is tax money that rich people work hard to pay anyway. Trust me 20% of a rich man salary in one year as tax is more than i earn in one whole year. So first if u need hand outs, u obviously dont pay so mich tax. So stop asking for other peoples money to be given to you. And stop using money that is needed elsewhere just because we feel poor. Its shallow, its lazy and its very lacking in future planning.

Anonymous said...

Where do the rich people made their monies from?
Gst, Erp, Coe, Excise tax, levies etc do not contribute?

Anonymous said...

Apparently You are not reading Padaly above.
How hard should one works? 12 hours a day, 6 days a week for $1500 with little or no increments for many years?

How conscionable is it in a First World State with one of the highest cost in living?

ArseHole Bandit said...

"... Its shallow, its lazy and its very lacking in future planning." 29/11/12 18:14

I planned my future 35 years ago that I could get my hands on MY CPF.. was I lazy to forecast that the goal post would shift?

Bloody hell! So its all my fault?
I am shallow???

How deep do you want us to think?

we tried but they keep telling us to "...lets move on..!!"

We asked questions and they said:
"What do you think??"

and now I am shallow? yeah right!
Lets see how deep is your arse hole.

Anonymous said...

The rich (especiall those who have smrt shares) will want them to be punished, the rest will want them to be able to walk free and all bus drivers to be treated more like a human with decent salary. I salute to them who dare to make a difference against ruthless authorities.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:17 is the naive one lah.. Cannot make it.

Anonymous said...

Please lah, it would not be approved and still illegal if you go ahead even with notice.

Anonymous said...

Please lah, the actual accomodation is only $200 not $275 as what SMRT would like u to believe. See the basic pay before increment. PRC drivers already getting $200 less than Malaysian.

Anonymous said...

You are retarded. Why should we pay more for PRCs in the first place? If they enjoy the same pay as singaporeans then what is the benefit of being a singaporean in singapore?

Anonymous said...

Once I was in a US city where all the janitors (cleaners) went on strike - you really understand how important cleaners are when toilets start to stink.


No lah the trouble you think like this is becos you are part of a uniformed group that marches to the same tune. So if the janitors go on strike, you go outside to piss on the walls, flowers and drains. And shit in the gardens and parks. But please lah, only idiots go back to the toilets to complain!

Anonymous said...

Mr lucky, there are reports of repatriate company setup on Singapore that force work permit holder to go back home which actions they take border on kidnaps and our police force seem to ignore.

Anonymous said...

what is the benefit of being a singaporean in singapore?

The benefits of voting and deciding who to lead the country. What do you think then? To get paid more than expats, talents and foreigners who have sacrificed their whole world just to be here?

Anonymous said...

Benefit of being Singaporean.
To serve 2 years in National Slavery.

Anonymous said...

PAP Internet Brigade Exposed:

http://sporehallofshame.blogspot.sg/2012/11/inside-world-of-pap-internet-brigade.html

Anonymous said...

Aiya, only 200 or so SMRT PRC drivers went on strike what.

And there are hundreds of thousands of foreigners working here but they are law abiding what.

So must see things in perspective lah.

Anonymous said...

"4 Chinese drivers charged over Singapore strike"
Thu, Nov 29, 2012 AFP

That's the way. See if they dare to go on strike again.

Kill one monkey, scare hundreds.

Anonymous said...

The papist Leegime has robbed Singaporeans of their legitimate rights not only to strike but in many other areas like the right to presumption of innocence. Certain statue drafted and passed by the rubber stamped parliament requires the accused to prove that they are innocent. How can Singaporeans tolerate such rubbish from Lee Kuan Yew and his pap gangsters ?

Anonymous said...

What is wrong here Singapore? Why the government's " proper channel" doesn't cut it?

Anonymous said...

Over 170 went on strike and only 4 charged?

Anonymous said...

Workers here expect 35% raise after getting bachelor degree
Most adult learners in Singapore expect an average pay raise of 35 per cent after attaining their first bachelor's degree.

big deal. up my asshole

Anonymous said...

For many years, unfair and exploitation of workers by rich employers has been going on day in day out.

For many years, we hear and even experience these ill treatments by rich employers through first person experience.

For many years, we highlight and complain about these unfairness and exploitation by rich employers but the PAP turn deaf ears and close both eyes to pretend not to hear and see.

These can happen in Singapore because PAP adopt pro-business environment for many years.

As if the unfairness and exploitation by rich employers are not enough, PAP opens the floodgate to let in tsunami of foreigners to depress wages and even replace Singaporeans in the jobs.

With these, it is crystal clear that PAP has infinite tolerance for unfair and exploitation of workers by rich employers, depress of Singaporean wages and replacement of Singaporean jobs by tsunami of foreigners.

Anonymous said...

They are licenced
are they not?

Anonymous said...

Under PAP rule.
You got benefit or not?

Even if Singapore Reserves got $100 trillion dollars in cash.
You think Singaporean citizen will benefit or not?

After NatCONning with PAP
you got benefit or not?

Anonymous said...

Adelyn Koh sing at President's Star Charity 2011.
Now 2012.
She needs eye operation.
Be Singaporean citizen under PAP rule.
Got get any benefit or not?

Canadian YOG volunteer get prompt and free medical treatment courtesy of Millionaire Bala and PAP government.
Be Singaporean citizen under PAP rule.
Got get any benefit or not?

http://www.whatsonjinan.com/news-4381-s-porean-musical-talent-adelyn-koh-who-composes-songs-to-raise-funds-for-her-eye-op-to-see-again.html

http://singaporemind.blogspot.sg/2010/09/treat-people-well-in-their-time-of-need.html

Anonymous said...

So, when is Singaporeans going to decide Zero Tolerance fir the bullying on the People?

Anonymous said...

Very interesting journal entry.

I'll just leave you with a few of my own thoughts.

Firstly, those workers signed a contract with the terms and agreements stated.
Although I sympathize their living conditions and pay, I feel that it is only morally correct that they fulfill their end of the contract, to complete their 2 years of being an employee of SMRT. After all, they were the ones who accepted and signed the contract in the first place.

Secondly, I personally feel that the salary of being a bus captain should be more appealing.
In a perfect world, a bus captain's pay should be high enough to entice us locals. That will definitely help with the unemployment rate and quality of life for many.
However, if SMRT were to raise the salary, the fares of public transport will definitely increase, and will cause an uproar amongst us commuters. To keep the price as low as possible, SMRT has to resort to such low salary and poor living conditions.

Lastly, unfair as it may be, SMRT is still a business, and the purpose of a business is still to make as much money as possible.
After so much effort and hard work (Building SMRT to what it is now, fighting for the CEO position) one definitely wants to kick back, relax and earn as much as he/she can.
So asking the CEO and top-tier management to reduce their salary, to increase the salaries of their employees is similar to asking for the moon. Either way, it won't happen.
After all, we humans are all selfish.

This is just my 2 cents worth. I am speaking from a neutral, analytical point of view, and I hope that I do not offend anyone with this comment.

Anonymous said...

They will be prosecuted based on papies law not law that Singaporeans wanted. Where on earth will a nation be so stupid to vote that a strike have to be approved like that inorder to be able to strike.

Anonymous said...

anon 0043 - firstly, if thats the case we will all be under slavery till the day we die. people should not be binded my letters of the law but the spirit of justice deep in our hearts unless one does not have one. secondly, they can always cut the high obscene pay of top management of smrt who do nothing but screw up big time to offer low fares in return. thirdly, smrt is almost state owned and we can check the top shareholders list.

Anonymous said...

anon 2240 "These can happen in Singapore because PAP adopt pro-business environment for many years." - do not be brainwashed by papies that these are pro business strategies - in fact these strategies are very harmful to business and people. ask yourself, if you bring unhappy people to the business, do you think the business will flower? the only one who benefit is the biggest landlord in the country.

Anonymous said...

I find this article a good piece that covers the general situation, but I would question your rationalization of why we need to treat foreign workers better. Instead of distancing them from us in a certain way such that their situation is considered dangerous because it might slippery slope onto other Singaporeans, perhaps it is about basic respect and professionalism that should be given in a employer to employee relationship that Singapore should be having as a developed nation.
Also, while there is a strong focus on the criticisms of the PAP government, which is not entirely wrong in certain respects, we should not forget that it is possibly a anti-foreign worker sentiment espoused by the citizens these days that will make this worse, and condemnable.

Anonymous said...

Maybe they should also have PRCCON besides NATCON.

Anonymous said...

"Kill a chicken to frighten the monkeys!"

If the situation for the monkeys is truly bad and dying is no worse than being alive, as with the French Revolution and Arab Spring, thousands if not millions of monkeys can be overwhelmning!

For Singapore and the people here, have we come to the point where being alive is no better than dead?

If the masses arrive at this conclusion, a real Singapore Spring is truly possible!

Anonymous said...

Wonder if Chuan-Jin would dare say what he did to Harry

Padaly said...

"and now I am shallow? yeah right!
Lets see how deep is your arse hole."
Lol! What an expression. I can't help laughing. You won't know until you try it!

Anonymous said...

This is not the first work stoppage involving foreign workers. It is maybe the first in a public transport company, which explains why it has prominence. I feel like laughing when we sermonizing about rule of law to these people. They understand nothing about that. Plus they have nothing to lose. If A sizable number of Singaporeans have nothing to lose, rule of law won't mean much to them either. I am not sure if anybody sees the connection between these events and the recent service disruptions in the MRT. Essential services have been privatized in an area where no true competition exists. Managers are again according to bottom line. Go figure.

Anonymous said...

Hmmm typos "sermonizing" should be "sermonize".
Last sentence "Managers are again rewarded according to the bottom line".

Anonymous said...

"So asking the CEO and top-tier management to reduce their salary, to increase the salaries of their employees is similar to asking for the moon."
30/11/12 00:43

Of course lah. You can ask the 60% to vote for the opposition or not?

Or ask the opposition to be strong, united and better than PAP?

It's asking for the moon also what.

Anonymous said...

"Lastly, unfair as it may be, SMRT is still a business ..."

Real world business can receive $1.1 billion dollar cash transfer from Singapore taxpayers meh?
Wah! Like that I want to register a business and ask for a cash transfer also.

Bloody crony!

Anonymous said...

I am not the least surprised that matters have descended to this level.

Over the years the rights of workers (and citizens as well) were gradually chipped away - now we can't even hold a lone protest nor strike at all.

If we continue to keep quiet I would not be surprised that they may even take away our right to vote.

We have ourselves to blame, not the Government. Here's why:

Many people are too myopic to focus on bread-and-butter issues. As long as they have good jobs, most really don't care what the Government do, what unfair bills they passed, how they enriched themselves and their cronies.

Many failed to appreciate that larger issues like freedom of expression, rights of assembly, rights of access to information held by the Government are closely linked to the rights of citizens (and employees).

When the late JBJ and Dr Chee Soon Juan were championing these causes they were treated by most people as a spectacle, a psychopath by one ex-ISD-turned-journalist.

Many of us have forgotten that the rights of citizens were fought for and obtained at great cost by our predecessors. It is our duty to see that those rights are not taken away.

People have to be politically educated on what their rights are. We have to be vigilant of sneaky moves by this Government to pass unfair bills. Most importantly never trust any governments, least of all this government. Keep watch. Be vigilant.

patriot said...

Haha.......

Some people think that being in business is licence to be unfair.
If we have such jokers running the State, it will
kaput in no time.
And
the most unfortunate thing is that we do have many of them running us in.

patriot

Anonymous said...

"Firstly, those workers signed a contract with the terms and agreements stated."

Yeah right!
Our architect of the National Pledge.
i.e. National Promise.
Since pledge means a solemn promise.
After 47 years can suddenly call it an aspiration.

Everyday, Singaporean children recited that Pledge.
Every National Day, we renewed that Pledge.

So why can't the PRC drivers turn around and call their contract an aspiration?

Anonymous said...

"So asking the CEO and top-tier management to reduce their salary, to increase the salaries of their employees is similar to asking for the moon."

But this same CEO and top tier management cannot manage on their own.
Must get handout of $1.1 billion dollars from taxpayers.
So the taxpayers continue to subsidize the incompetent top management.

Anonymous said...

"To keep the price as low as possible, SMRT has to resort to such low salary and poor living conditions."

But SMRT is making record profits.
SMRT making record dividend payments to shareholders.
SMRT paying top salaries to CEO and shareholders.
But cannot afford to pay a fair salary to all employees?

And got no choice but to increase fares to Singaporean commuters?

Anonymous said...

The excuse is always the the consumer will have to bear the extra cost. That is the brickbat that has been used by the PAP and its companies.

Anonymous said...

It takes 'foreign talent' to show us how to deal with social injustice. That's sad for Singaporeans. We have forgotten how to deal with these things.

Anonymous said...

It is debatable whether the peaceful protest was "illegal". The question is : is the law just? The steam boiled over because the company, and the establishment, failed to open an equitable channel for negotiation - which they had admitted

Hence, is it wise to charge lesser mortal over an injustice felt on the ground?

I will be surprised that the largest population on earth and the chinese grit will tolerate such imbalance justice that lacked...grace.

Anonymous said...

Drop the charge Sin

Anonymous said...

More "shit" and use of the "bogeyman"! Nothing's changed!

If the "National CONversation" was two ways an open to accepting alternative views, many would join. However, its ONE WAY STREET - they are right and do or die, we have to accept their REASONING.

Was there ever consultation before paying themselves millions on a monthly basis plus a lifetime pension when most of Singapore slaves can't even touch their CPF which has turned out to be a BROKEN PROMISE!

The Swiss standard of living has been attained long ago for the ELITES (the Pigs per "Animal Farm") and, for the rest of the animals, a life time of continuing slavery through compulsory contribution to CPF, overpriced public housing and all sorts of LEVIES (WHICH ARE TAXES IN ANOTHER NAME) while they continue to take the people's money and make poor and wild investments globally via our wealth funds.

NO TRANSPARENCY, NO CLEAR CONCISE REPORTING AND NO ACCOUNTABILITY TO CITIZENS.

Remember the timely false declaration prior to the last election? " WE ARE THE SERVANTS!" Merely uttering these words without an honest commitement to SERVE THE PEOPLE is evidence of how DAFT WE HAVE BECOME AND BEEN TRULY DESCRIBED.

Time to wake up and throw them out. If South African blacks can overthow Apartheid and a White only government and thrive and survive as a nation, can you truly believe Singapore will sink without our Pigs in White?

Hongkong and Taiwan do not have these SWINES and continue to thrive and compete on a global basis despite strong opposition in parliament.

Most of the Nordic small countries and countries such as Switzerland, Luxemburg, Finland etc continue to outperform Singapore in overall performance and citizen's well being with minority coalition governments.

Why do we need the Pigs in White and their police state to rule us with the heavy stick and continue to live as their slaves having our blood sucked from the day we are born with the exception of their chosen - "tow the line" ELITES?

It'ts time for Singapore Citizens to awaken to the TRUTH, we are better than they have led us to believe and we can BAN ALL THEIR CHOSEN ELITES ALL TO OUTER SPACE and believe me, we won't have chaos and we will not collapse. The citizens will be happier and given a short period of learning how to properly govern, we we thrive and a fairer share of the rewards of a country's success will be OURS TO RECLAIM.

VOTE THEM OUT AT THE EARLIEST OPPORTUNITY!

Squealer said...

This why your comment is worth 2 cents.

Over rewarding (crony appoints crony elite CEO) and pays ransom salary. Makes him and his one family happy.

Appointed crony ensures that the majority of the front line workers (bus drivers renamed SLs - "Shift Leader" glorified name for bus driver)earns slave wages so that organisation (controlled and majority owned by Government Investment Fund) makes obscene profits.

In case some don't know it, public transportation is part of public services which is a government duty and responsibility so to profit from it is unacceptable in most modern democratic countries.
After all, citizens pay taxes and this is part of the reason our bus fares are actually high relative to average wage of the 20 percent of low income families.

With low wages for bus drivers, (SLs great name but wages/salary is like SHIT!) many families are unhappy and find it hard to get by.

If Singapore is truly to be a socialist democratic country, as was envisioned when LKY took over the government, then, the leader should be sufficiently well rewarded, but not obscenely and the rest of the workers should also be reasonably well rewarded and everyone pays whatever taxes is necesssary to ensure the economy ticks and gets along well.

Whether it's Australia, or New Zealand, or Switzerland or one of the Nordic countries, the citizens get a good and healthy competent government and happily pay their taxes (which are named taxes rather than levies/COEs/ERPs and whatever bullshit non-transparent name) and capitalists who earn good profits do their fair share too.

I can see your two cents mind came from reading MSM and a lifetime of brainwashing by your life in Animnal Farm!

Sorry to be direct, I like to call a cat a cat and a dog a dog!

Anonymous said...

I must agree that over times any rights given to a citizen are slowly being taken away from us. We can no longer strike or protest and most likely next time we can no longer vote. We need more opposition in the parliament to stop this from happening. The rich which is around 20% will forever vote for PAP cos they benefit from pap system and we only need 10% more to read and agree with Lucky Tan to stop PAP from destroying this country where our ancestors risked everything to come here and to build for a better future.

Anonymous said...

"Zero Tolerance" only happens from top down and never bottom up. Workers have "Zero Tolerance" for errant bosses too.

Anonymous said...

Actually the root cause of the strike is due to very poor and lousy management. Paid too well, no time to work - only have time to enjoy. If we are going to put behind bars everyone who caused disruptions of service, the CEO of bus and mrt and whatever will be jailed already.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 16:47

The WP opposition MPs are sleeping.
I wouldn't bet on them.
Hopeless.

Anonymous said...

WP is not sleeping.
They are having a quiet National Conversation with potential future candidates who will run against the Pro Alien Traitors in GE 2016.

To all Opposition Parties.
Focus on recruitment and membership.
Only votes matter in GE 2016.
Not NatCON or PAPCon or just plain Con 2012.

Anonymous said...

These workers are on contract. Any breach of contract should be between the parties involves. Why is the Singapore labor law intruding into a commercial contract to favor the companies ? pap is a party for the rich business.

Anonymous said...

Oh yeah the workers are on contract, so SMRT can change the contract by extending their working time from 5 to 6 days?

Anonymous said...

To Anon 30/11/12 00:43 -
Sure, you have the rights to neutrality with the comments you made, but it makes me wonder where your values are and what kind of values you're going to pass down to your children.

Anonymous said...

Is our National Pledge
a promise,
a contract,
or an aspiration?

can change the terms & conditions or not?

Anonymous said...

PAP and NTUC's idea of open door communications means that they meet up with you, take you for a spin, put on paper that they had a dialogue with you. But they are still not going to change their stance. Basically, they find a more polite way to tell you 'Go **** yourself!"

The SMRT bus drivers are very unhappy about the 6 day workweek. But after so much dialogue, nothing concrete was achieved. And while all the drivers will earn less, management will pay themselves extra 3-4 months bonus, all coming from savings from cutting the drivers' salaries.

Anonymous said...

And thus the strike becomes legitimate, as legitimate as the lightning strike

patriot said...

When countries and corporations are run by depraved folks, nothing can be good in them

patriot

Anonymous said...

Strike or no strike, the opposition will not become as strong as PAP.

So call PAP idiots or whatever (so you won't get sued), PAP will most likely win again in GE 2016.

What do you think?

Anonymous said...

Since I am not Chee Soon Juan, I think PAP will continue to rule Singapore forever lah.

And foreign talents will continue to come lah.

And there will be more problems with these talents lah.

So let it be lah.

Anonymous said...

Vote Opposition.
Because it's good for you.

Anonymous said...

In the "real" world... "errant" workers get fired... errant "bosses" get promoted. lol.

Anonymous said...

In the "real" world... "errant" workers get fired... errant "bosses" get promoted. lol.
Anon 1/12/12 10:29

So don't be "errant" worker lah. Be errant "bosses" lah.

Don't join opposition lah. Join PAP lah.
lol

Anonymous said...

Join opposition, 93% chance sure lose.

Join PAP, 93% chance sure win.

So join PAP or opposition better, you tell me lah.

Anonymous said...

Live by the law, die by the law

Anonymous said...

Go with the flow.
Vote Opposition.

Manda_la said...

There were 102 strikers, some reports claimed a lot more. Tan Chuan Jin said zero tolerance for strikes, so why is he charging only 4 so-called "instigators"? It would appear that strikers are tolerated but instigators are not. Speaking with a forked tongue? More PAPaya wayang???

Anonymous said...

Today we learned that some of these drivers have been arrested and a number of them had their work permits revoked and are going to be sent back to their home country.

I would just like to point out to YALE -- SEE this is the type of dictatorial and authoritarian regime that you are going to collaborate with. Your name will go down in disgrace. To think that Yale would compromise on its values for the sake of money. tsk tsk tsk

Anonymous said...

Give 14days notice to strike? what kind of logic is that. May as well have to pay $10k to vote? Pigs in white own the law? how come no referendum to such law?

Anonymous said...

we also have zero tolerance for incompetent and overly paid gov servants. can we sue or send them away?

Anonymous said...

we also have zero tolerance for incompetent and overly paid gov servants.
Anon 1/12/12 21:05

Doesn't matter because nothing will happen.

You won't sue and only 60% can send them away.

Anonymous said...

@ ANON: 1/12/12 20:59
"Pigs in white own the law?"
- Yes. It's called parliamentary majority.

"..how come no referendum to such law?"
- Because the pigs have parliamentary majority.

Additional benefits of parliamentary majority.
- You get to nominate the judges who decide the law?

Anonymous said...

If your opposition leaders are so good, they would have solved the political conundrum.

Bodoh people deserve to be shitted on by the elites

Anonymous said...

"Bodoh people deserve to be shitted on by the elites"

Agree. PAP has been dumbing down over the last 10 years.
GE 2016.
Prepare to be shitted on.

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Anonymous said...

Voting for PAP: Benefit #1
- very affordable HDB flats

Anonymous said...

Lucky, can you also have a duplicate place to post besides blogger.com as those of us working in China cannot access blogger.com or Wordpress?

Thanks.

Anonymous said...

just because SMRT is a large corporation doesn't mean it is wrong. That's the problem with this blog - very biased. Let's looks at the facts of the case. the PRCs are paid $300+ lower and they were given free accomodation and free transport. Knowing how expensive is accomodation in Singapore, a small bedroom in a HDB flat cost $600 per month and transport is expensive as well, the PRCs indeed have a better deal compared to the Malaysians who had to settle their own accomodation and transport. Not forgetting they need more training, cannot speak English, have poor records (killed 2 persons in a year - both are PRC bus drivers and never before in history) and need to provide for their air ticket. They did not have a bad deal. As for some of you crying that their accomodation is horrible, I don't think so. It looks like NTU hostel. As for dirty? PRCs have different hygiene standards. I have rented houses to PRC before - a very clean house can be full of cockcroaches after being rented to PRCs. just ask around any landlords and most avoid PRCs because they are more "complicated" and will sublet and do things against the law to get you into trouble. As for SMRT, I think they do the right thing is repariating the leaders who are aggressive. As an employer, once you know your employees have attitude problem, you have the right to fire them. Why would you continue to hire someone who will happy happy instigate the others to go on strike especially your terms are not worse the Malaysian drivers? And I have to say this, even for whilte collar, sometimes 2 person with the same title or rank gets different pay - its not just the job scope you know. Different people have different abilities and attitudes.

I have encounters with PRCs as a landlord. Please do not go around saying the living condition is horrible. It is normal for PRC houses to be that dirty. And that you cannot blame SMRT. And those hostels looks perfectly fine.

Anonymous said...

And all those who keep saying the PRC drivers are underpaid, how much do you think they should be paid. We can pay them like the Malaysians at $300 more WITHOUT accomodation and WIHHOUT transport and WITHOUT AIR TICKETS. I'm sure they will complain as well because in reality, it is a worse deal. I think after this incident, I really salute the Malaysian drivers. To be honest with you, if I were the employer, I think I will increase the pay of the Malaysian drivers instead. They have been serving us for so many years without any complaints and problems, and without killing anyone on the roads.

Anonymous said...

And just because the PRCs go on strike doesn't mean they are underpaid and exploited. Just because the Malaysian drivers did not go on strike doesn't mean they are overpaid. As a business owner, I have seen employees with overwhelming sense of entitlement. These are the ones who usually have bad attitude, always not coming to work and treating the customers badly. It's not always the employee that is right you know? And many Singaporeans think they are very capable and work VERY HARD when in reality, they go for long lunches and are doing facebook in the office - i.e. not very efficient, lack analytical skills, always complaining and not very hard driving. And from my experience, there is also another group of employees who work hard, produce the work and not everyday complain and shout about how underpaid they are. The latter group is the type I would prefer to hire and give higher pay and bonuses. Is this wrong? So yes, maybe the Malaysian drivers are paid better (bear in mind without accomodation and transport), but is this wrong? In fact after this saga, if I were SMRT, I will think twice about hiring PRC drivers, and recruit more higher-quality Malaysian drivers instead and even reward them for serving us so many years quietly and efficiently. Just another view from the "same same" in this entire blog comments. Don't flame me.

Anonymous said...

And fairness is about good employees being paid better. Fairness is never about all employees should be paid the same. And I think many of you have been fooled by the accomodation complaint. I don't think they are upset with the accomodation. They wanted to be paid the same as the Malaysians (and with accomodation & transport). In short, they wanted to be paid better than the Malaysians. And SMRT should not give in. Fairness is all about good employees being paid better, in this case, clearly, the Malaysians - who have worked for many years as bus drivers and never complain.

Anonymous said...

In terms of cost, this race to the bottom scares me more then the possible increase in public transport fees.

Paying the bus drivers more has some positive knock on effects. You can start to attract better qualified ppl, service standards will rise, less accidents, HR would be forced to scrutinize the qualifications of new staff due to the higher costs etc. Although these are mainly intangibles, yet they have a direct impact on the quality of life for Singaporeans and foreign visitors.

Please, SMRT don't look at profits as the be all and end all.

Anonymous said...

In terms of cost, this race to the bottom scares me more then the possible increase in public transport fees.

Paying the bus drivers more has some positive knock on effects. You can start to attract better qualified ppl, service standards will rise, less accidents, HR would be forced to scrutinize the qualifications of new staff due to the higher costs etc. Although these are mainly intangibles, yet they have a direct impact on the quality of life for Singaporeans and foreign visitors.

Please, SMRT don't look at profits as the be all and end all.

Anonymous said...

In terms of cost, this race to the bottom scares me more then the possible increase in public transport fees.

Paying the bus drivers more has some positive knock on effects. You can start to attract better qualified ppl, service standards will rise, less accidents, HR would be forced to scrutinize the qualifications of new staff due to the higher costs etc. Although these are mainly intangibles, yet they have a direct impact on the quality of life for Singaporeans and foreign visitors.

Please, SMRT don't look at profits as the be all and end all.

Anonymous said...

And no such thing as equal pay for equal work. Its not just the job scope, the person's qualifications, attitude, past experience affect his starting pay as well. So as an employer, I may have preference from say graduates from a certain university, or with certain qualifications and therefore I am prepared to pay those higher for the same job. Same for SMRT. Its obvious they have preference for Malaysians, perhaps because from past experience, the Malaysians have better driving skills or language skills etc., therefore they are paid marginally better. The PRC drivers were happy with their pay when they sign their employment contract. Its only later when they found out some colleagues were paid better than them, then they go on strike and don't go to work. I think SMRT is being very kind already increasing their pay to almost-match that of the Malaysians after factoring accomodation and transport. Stop fighting for the rights of the PRC drivers without hearing both sides of the story. In short, even if you pay the PRC drivers $5000. As long as they find out their Malaysian counterparts are paid $5400, they will go on strike. Remember they were happy with their pay UNTIL they found out someone else paid better and get sore eyes. As I've said earlier, employers have to pay the better employees better. That is called FAIR. Paying everyone the same without consideration of background and qualifications is UNFAIR.

Anonymous said...

"Remember they were happy with their pay UNTIL they found out someone else paid better and get sore eyes."
ANON: 2/12/12 09:01

You talking about Ministers' salaries or bus drivers' salaries?

Anonymous said...

Bus drivers salaries. I think all the blog entries about the workers being "exploited" miss a key point. The PRC drivers key complaint wasn't because their pay was too low - they were happy with their pay. Their complaint was their pay was lower than that of Malaysian drivers. That is a big difference. In short, they compare with their colleagues and wanted the same pay, not factoring the difference in qualifications and experience. There was never exploitation - because they were happy with their pay. So SMRT just need to explain why certain employees are paid better. And no company pays everyone the same for the same job. As an employer, I pay my better employees with good qualifications and attitude better. Maybe because the PRCs come from a communist state and expect everyone to be paid the same. Its the same as many Singaporeans - many have a good life, can afford the latest iphone and overseas holiday and a roof over their head. But when they see their neighbour got a marginally better car or phone, they blame the government. In short, you are actually ok and happy with your own life, until you start comparing with your neighbour and become green eyed monster. Same for the PRC drivers. I think just pay the Malaysians even better and do away with the PRC drivers altogether. We don't need such bad employees, always comparing without looking at their own inadequacies.

Anonymous said...

Ai pi ai chi tua liap nee nee

Cheap and good big fat boobs.

Anonymous said...

Voting for PAP: Benefit #2
- Reliable public transport

Anonymous said...

10 men to a room in a dormitory in Woodlands.
$275 x 10 = $2750

SMRT is obviously making money out this accommodation arrangement.
It reflects the very mentality from the very top.
Subsidy with profits to the subsidizer!

Anonymous said...

“Since July, SMRT has required its drivers to work six days a week instead of five – a move that made drivers unhappy. It raised the pay of Chinese nationals by $75, Malaysian drivers by $150 and Singapore drivers by $425.

Last month, it raised the pay of Singapore drivers by $150 and Malaysian drivers by $50, but drivers from China got nothing.

An SMRT spokesman said SMRT has planned to review the pay of China drivers after October, and had approved a $25 of increment last week. This $25 increment was proposed to the drivers during Monday’s talks, but they turn it down and asked for greater parity with Malaysian drivers.”

Anonymous said...

"I think just pay the Malaysians even better and do away with the PRC drivers altogether."
Anon 2/12/12 09:23

Not so simple lah. Then might as well pay Singaporeans even better and do away with foreign drivers altogether.

Or expect the opposition to win 60% votes in the next election lah.

Anonymous said...

Those who think that self-regulation works need to look no further than how this saga is playing out. Tripartism at work? Seriously?

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Anonymous said...

I hope SDP under Chee Soon Juan can win 93% seats in 2016.

Then we can have NOM (non Open Market) HDB housing.

Then we can have affordable medical care.

Then we can have less foreigners who take away our jobs.

Then we can reduce the wide income gap.

Then .... Then .... Then...

Anonymous said...

Pigs Action Party will break up because politics is not profitable anymore.

Anonymous said...

Then Pigs Action Party will break up because politics is not profitable anymore.

Anonymous said...

Tripartism at work?
Anon 2/12/12 11:02

Tripartism works only with Singaporeans. Just like NS.

Anonymous said...

And the complaint that the dorm is dirty is the most ridiculous complaint. Do the PRC workers demand a maid to clean their rooms or stay in hotel with room service? Clearly when a landlord lease a house to a tenant, the tenant has to take care of his own hygiene and housekeeping. And if the house end up with cockroaches and bugs, is it SMRT's fault? Trust me, the accommodation complaint is NOT the main issue, its just to fool you Singaporeans to fight for the PRC's "plight". PRCs like money. Even if you give them a deal with NO accommodation, 50 of them will squeeze into a room illegally and get their landlords into trouble. Many landlords can tell you horror stories of PRC tenants and their hygiene standards. And nobody can guarantee their room has no insects or bug unless they take care of their own hygiene. As to why they are paid less, they have reflect upon themselves (i) their qualifications (ii) language abilities (iii) general attitudes (many are very rude and don't know their way) (iv)they need more training (different driving rules and right hand drive) (v) poorer driving records - ever since PRC drivers are hired, a couple of deaths by bus drivers and wrong route etc (vi) contract vs perm staff (vii) housing utilities and transport are provided (viii) When they happy go on strike or fake MC (apparently very common) their Malaysian counterparts have to do extra shifts to cover for them. That alone explains why the Malaysians deserve more. and much more.

Anonymous said...

There must be advantages why SMRT still want to hire PRC drivers lah, despite the bad things Anon 2/12/12 12:11 said about PRCs.

Just like there must be advantages why 60% voted PAP lah, despite the bad things netizens said about PAP.


Anonymous said...

Stupid lor!

GE 2016.
Repent.
Vote wisely.
And be stupid no more.

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Anonymous said...

Contacts say free accommodation and free transportation in the end you find that you are shortchanges by $300.How would you feel.

Anonymous said...

"...I have encounters with PRCs as a landlord. Please do not go around saying the living condition is horrible. It is normal for PRC houses to be that dirty. And that you cannot blame SMRT. And those hostels looks perfectly fine.

2/12/12 07:03"


Are we better educated, better informed about hygiene matters?

Are we 1st world now? We have standards and values do we not?

So we rent out dirty rooms filled with cockroaches just because the tenant has a dirty lifestyle?

Warped sense of logic here.

Pride of product and who we are is missing. No self respect at all. Just pure money face.

Anonymous said...

PRC like money me a Singaporean also like money so is everyone much more are our ministers so idiot stop talking rubbish.

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Anonymous said...

No. What I am trying to say is the hygiene of the tenants is causing the pests to appear. Not the landlord. So it is ridiculous to blame the landlord when there are pests in the tenant's house. Unless some of you are suggesting the landlord engage a maid for every PRC driver? Or else trust me, the same pest problem will appear. And why is so many so eager to blame government? What has this to do with the government and minister's salaries? This blog is going down the drain. Its amusing, every time anything happens, its the governments problem. Yes, a bunch of workers go on strike because they want to be paid as high as their more capable colleagues. Like that also blame government?

Anonymous said...

Like that also blame government?
Anon 2/12/12 15:57

There must be reasons lah, even though not fair to blame government.

There must be reasons lah, why 60% voted PAP, even though many said PAP government is overpaid and no good.

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Anonymous said...

What does Lucky or S people expect from an authoritative regime? Things will just get more shitty.

Anonymous said...

It is bus company that misleaded the bus drivers by promising 5 days work week and then changed to 6 days after they signed contract. Same tactics used by pigs in white - always misleading the people.

Anonymous said...

Sounds familiar.
First our National Pledge is a solemn promise.
And then it becomes an aspiration.

Just can't seem to get good people nowadays.
So competition and more Opposition MPs in parliament is the cure.

Anonymous said...

They are manipulative. They know as long as they go on strike, Singaporeans with no brain will be used by them to blame government lah blame SMRT lah and ask for SMRT CEO to be fired lah. They know Singaporeans everything also blame government and on their side.

Those who say 6 day work week. Do you know it comes with increment? And do you know their MAIN complaint is never the work week, their main complaint is they want to be paid as well as the Malaysian workers?

Useless bunch. Everything also blame government until the PRCs also know how to use you to get what they want.

PRC says:

But why don't we think of it the other way around, if a few hundred Chinese Nationals take the lead, I am afraid the management of SMRT will be fired instead, not that we do not know the traffic situation in Singapore, a few hundred bus drivers do not report to work for a few days there will be public outcry in Singapore, Lianhe Zaobao, MyPaper and the English papers will all wait on us, trying to find out the reason(s) for the action. Land Transport Authority will have to start questioning SMRT."

"Rational and hot-blooded fellow workers have to take action!

Anonymous said...

More capable colleagues?

Capable in what criteria?

Anonymous said...

@ ANON: 2/12/12 20:56
Pro Alien Traitors and their misfiring Pro Alien policies.

First they say Singaporeans are lousy. Foreign talents are needed.

Now they say Foreign Talents are lousy. And Singaporeans should stop blaming them for their Pro Alien policies.

Both Singaporeans and Foreign Talents should unite and blame the Pro Alien Traitors for breach of promise.

Anonymous said...

Wednesday, 28 Nov 2012 page A6 The Straits Times
“Since July, SMRT has required its drivers to work six days a week instead of five – a move that made drivers unhappy. It raised the pay of Chinese nationals by $75, Malaysian drivers by $150 and Singapore drivers by $425.

Last month, it raised the pay of Singapore drivers by $150 and Malaysian drivers by $50, but drivers from China got nothing.

An SMRT spokesman said SMRT has planned to review the pay of China drivers after October, and had approved a $25 of increment last week. This $25 increment was proposed to the drivers during Monday’s talks, but they turn it down and asked for greater parity with Malaysian drivers.”

Anonymous said...

The hard truth is that they send in someone else to mitigate on behalf of the SMRT CEO to prevent a fiasco of another public outcry to tell the present SMRT CEO to step down after the recent one. They are covering him to prevent a political backlash.

Anonymous said...

The hard truth is that they send in someone else to mitigate on behalf of the SMRT CEO to prevent a fiasco of another public outcry to tell the present SMRT CEO to step down after the recent one. They are covering him to prevent a political backlash.

Anonymous said...

I dont' think this piece is thought-provoking. I think it's common sense. Problem is Singaporeans don't have that. They only have kiasuism and kiasism as part of their contorted so-called confucian values. Stupid people deserve stupid politics.

Anonymous said...

If we let this government continue with the same way it has done these past 10 years, we're in for bigger and bigger troubles in 10 and 15 years time.

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Anonymous said...

They were" repatriated without incident" according to the Straits Times. Were they given access to lawyers since it was a breach of law and that there is some form of due process?

Anonymous said...

I think you are confusing the issues.

On strikes - you shared your own frustrations when you encountered strikes overseas. So you are against illegal industrial actions.

On workers - you lumped your experiences of Singaporean workers with foreign workers and covered all issues in anger. What is the key issue you are frustrated about? Your complaint that Singaporeans in the past lived 10 to 1 flat - that has been ameliorated. But you are now transferring that anger to PRC workers who stay in a hostel - mind you, 10 to a hostel or 10 in a family in a flat are 2 different things. They come on 2 year contracts, they earn what they can, remit it home and their family lives in a 3 storey house, 1 person to a room. And here you are behaving like you are their saviour, speaking up for them.

Conversely, if they are given hotel rooms to stay, 2 to a room, I am sure you will be the first to complain about it too.

So my advice to you is - be clear in your mind what you are complaining about, and be careful what you wish for. It may just come true and kick you in the backside before you know it.

Anonymous said...

I voted PAP in the past.
And the decision has definitely come back to kick me in the backside in the present.

Anonymous said...

Why must this blog politicize everything? I mean seriously, a bunch of PRC workers go on strike because they want to be paid the same as the Malaysian counterparts. And this is government's problem? You neighbour is richer than you, this is government's problem? Your neighbour's child do better in PSLE. That is government's problem? Seriously? And I notice many are using this instance to blame the government. And I notice many have deviated away from the main complaint of the PRC workers and use the dirty hostel as the main complaint. These are just herrings. The PRCs are using YOU SINGAPOREANS to fight for THEIR rights. Have you read their letter? The PRC says "Singapore sure uproar and blame SMRT and government (without checking the facts). I notice a severe reverse discrimination here, where successful people or organization are unfortunately discriminated against.

Anonymous said...

You are the Pro Alien Party.
You brought in these foreign workers with your pro alien policies.
You bully Singaporeans with your anti Singaporean worker policies.

Of course you are the cause of all these problems.

After allowing all these PRC drivers into Singapore, you dare tell us it's not your problem?
On top of that you deport them without due legal process.
You drag Singapore's legal reputation thru mud and say it's not your problem?
How dare you.

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Anonymous said...

"I notice a severe reverse discrimination here, where successful people or organization are unfortunately discriminated against."
ANON: 3/12/12 11:57

Maybe your success is built upon the bullying of the Singaporean citizens?
If you so good, you would already have left Singapore for greener pastures a long time ago.
I find it hard to believe that you are still in Singapore working for the greater good of Singaporeans.

Anonymous said...

"Why must this blog politicize everything?"

Please lah!
If politics is such a dirty word, then don't be a politician lah!
Don't action, action, and join the Pro Alien Party lah!

There are no bad politics.
There are only bad & incompetent politicians.

Anonymous said...

Yes, charge them, deport them for going on strike.

If not ah, they will do it again.

Or other low pay foreign workers like Indian, Bangla or Pinoys can also suka suka go on strike what, tio bo?

The PAP govt did the right thing to ensure law and order. For this, 60% will sure support PAP again come 2016.



Anonymous said...

How come these prc workers go on strike ah?
I thot limpeh say the prc workers are more hardworking and driven than sinkies?

Anonymous said...

This is beginning to feel like the backdrop of French Revolution - even as the elites party and rejoice on their triumphs, inside the nation things are crumbling, outside barbarians are invading, all hell is breaking lose, the world watches, and the conservatives harden their stance to rally their troops, not knowing that there aren't many troops left. Sad it has to go on for a few more years and many more will suffer, but someone finally will have to pay dearly.

Anonymous said...

"The PAP govt did the right thing to ensure law and order."

But did the PAP govt do the right thing by approving the work permits to the prc workers in the first place?

gahmen very good at fire fighting hor?
not so good at fire prevention?
too old to forecast problems ah?

Anonymous said...

Our Ministers have "zero tolerance" for workers going on strike in Singapore for what the workers perceived as unfair treatment but Singaporeans never hear them speak of "zero tolerance" for the out of the world pay they received compared to leaders in other parts of the world.
Singaporeans also never heard them speak about exploitation of low wage workers, "zero tolerance" for unfairness at workplace, "zero tolerance" for low wages and poor benefits..."zero tolerance" for poor treatment of elderly workers.
No longer Singaporeans feel our leaders are self-serving.

Anonymous said...

The fact of the matter is, the key complaint by the PRCs is the "loss of dignity" because they were paid lower than the Malaysians and Singaporeans permanent employees. They may be unhappy with the accommodation but that is never the reason they went on strike.

In short, they would have gone on strike even if the accommodation is a nice hotel, as long as they were paid lower than the Malaysian drivers. No one could have prevented that from happening. So please cut SMRT or even the government some slack for that.

And so the question is, had the government or SMRT reacted appropriately against the 170 bus drivers who went on strike? Recap: most of the drivers are let off. And only 6 are charged. And if you think they have done wrongly, what would you have done? Increase the pay of the PRC drivers to higher than that of Malaysians and Singaporeans? What would the Malaysian or Singaporean drivers feel? Put them in a nice hotel with room service? In short, what are you guys complaining about? So even if the government do exactly that - i.e. increase PRC salaries to be as much as Malysians and put them in nice accommodation with room service so that there are no bugs, I'm sure you guys will complain as well. So you get what I mean? Everything the government do will be wrong. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Because Singaporeans just want to complain. That's how biased this site this. And if you think the handling of the case is bad, what would you have done? Pay everyone the same regardless of qualifications or experience?

Anonymous said...

"zero tolerance" for unfairness at workplace, "zero tolerance" for low wages and poor benefits..."zero tolerance" for poor treatment of elderly workers.
Anon 3/12/12 14:58

Wah lau eh, everything also zero, then Singapore become zero also.

Cannot lah.

Stay focused... said...

"...what would you have done? Pay everyone the same regardless of qualifications or experience?..."

3/12/12 15:54

All employees having the same job roles must be paid the same basic pay. There should not be any deductions.

Additional pay is based on individual appraisals that is transparent and understood by employee.

The cost of housing is not the employee's doing. The employer chose that option. This is where labour representation is essential.

SMRT is not a small fry company. It has the resources equal to any global MNC.

It has displayed incompetence with maintenance and now it has displayed incompetence in people management.

Give them some slack? You are a happy go lucky shareholder, equally boh-chap??

Another reason to sell the stock.

Anonymous said...

Imagine what would have happened if Singaporeans are the ones who strike. Where will they be deported to? Singaporeans should take this as a wake up call to vote in more alternative parties into the government so the one pary will not zerorise our voting right one day.

Anonymous said...

"The right to vote in Singapore is not explicitly stated in Singapore's Constitution" - see wikipedia on right to vote in spore

Anonymous said...

"The fact of the matter is, the key complaint by the PRCs is the "loss of dignity" because they were paid lower than the Malaysians and Singaporeans permanent employees. They may be unhappy with the accommodation but that is never the reason they went on strike.

In short, they would have gone on strike even if the accommodation is a nice hotel, as long as they were paid lower than the Malaysian drivers. No one could have prevented that from happening. So please cut SMRT or even the government some slack for that."

How much are you pay for this nonsense ? 50Cents ? 50cents to buy your dignity and conscience ? Never thought trolls can be so cheapskate.

Anonymous said...

/They may be unhappy with the accommodation but that is never the reason they went on strike./
Anon. 3/12/12 15:54

“The living conditions at the dormitories are one of the main reasons why 171 bus drivers from mainland China went on strike earlier this week. The other reason was the perceived unfairness over pay compared to other foreign bus drivers from Malaysia.” Yahoo Newsroom 29 Nov 2012

Anonymous said...

/and put them in nice accommodation with room service so that there are no bugs,/
Anon. 3/12/12 15:54

You are worse than SMRT, at least SMRT has acknowledged the poor living conditions at bus drivers' dorms in Woodlands and said it was taking swift action to improve them.

Anonymous said...

" ...Everything the government do will be wrong. They are stuck between a rock and a hard place. ..."

Boo hoo.
You have parliament majority by gerrymandering.
You have been in charge for 47 years.
You claim you are the best.
You pay yourself the highest salaries.

And you want us to subsidize you some more with our constructive suggestions?
Don't blame you, then blame who?
You guys really deserve to be hated and despised.

Anonymous said...

/Put them in a nice hotel with room service?/
Anon. 3/12/12 15:54

No one is asking SMRT to put them in a nice hotel with room service. Don’t you agree that 8 to 10 persons in a room are too crowded?

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