Workers Protesting In Ang Mo Kio Used Own Savings For Food & Transport, Organisations Assisting

Protesting Workers Owed Salaries, Required To Use Personal Savings For Food & Transport

On Tuesday (18 Oct) afternoon, nine men were seen holding signs and blocking the entrance and exit of a building in Ang Mo Kio.

The signs they held bore the company name Shanghai Chong Kee and demanded their salaries in Chinese.

Source: Shin Min Daily News on Facebook

According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), due to a payment dispute with their subcontractor, Shanghai Chong Kee had not made payment for weeks.

The protest also uncovered that some workers had to use their personal savings for food and transport.

Now, the Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC) and the Building Construction And Timber Industries Employees’ Union (BATU) are working with all parties to ensure the workers’ interests are protected.

Protesting workers are under Zhengda Corporation & Shanghai Chong Kee

CNA reported that the nine workers involved in the 18 Oct protest were working under Zhengda Corporation. Six of them were hired by Shanghai Chong Kee to work at the Ang Mo Kio renovation site.

workers protesting salaries

Source: Shin Min Daily News on Facebook

Shanghai Chong Kee’s safety director said this was due to a payment dispute between them and subcontractor Zhengda Corporation.

Shanghai Chong Kee had apparently failed to make payment to Zhengda Corporation for weeks but has since issued two cheques, noted CNA.

Police officers later arrived at the scene and instructed the men to stop the activities.

The workers complied and are now assisting with investigations.

Workers had to use savings for food & transport

After learning about the incident, MWC and BATU visited the S11 Dormitory @ Punggol where Shanghai Chong Kee employees stayed.

In a Facebook post, MWC said they wanted to check on workers’ general welfare and find out if they are facing any outstanding employment issues.

They also hoped to check on workers’ physical and mental states and help where necessary.

During the outreach, MWC and BATU spoke to 30 migrant workers employed under Shanghai Chong Kee.

They allegedly found that many workers faced issues relating to their employment. This includes some who apparently have to use their personal savings for food and transport expenses.

To urgently provide temporary relief for workers, MWC sourced a caterer to provide the daily meals for the roughly 200 workers from the company residing at the dormitory.

MWC said they will be notifying the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) of their findings.

They will also assist MOM in reaching a speedy resolution for workers of both Zhengda Corporation and Shanghai Chong Kee.

Both MWC and BATU will continue following up with affected workers to check on their well-being and render assistance when required.

BATU stated that they will reach out to both companies’ management to ensure workers’ interests are protected.

Companies urged to act responsibly toward workers

MOM has since assured workers that the ministry as well as the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management will be helping them.

In their joint statement, MWC and BATU said workers facing workplace issues need not resolve the issues themselves. Instead, they can turn to the welfare organisation and workers’ union for assistance.

Conversely, the organisations emphasised that it is in companies’ interests to take good care of their workers.

Should they require advice or support on managing workplace and employment issues, they can also contact MWC and BATU.

The organisations also took the opportunity to remind employers to act responsibly towards workers. Employers must comply with regulations governing workers’ employment, care, and protection.

To find out more about how to reach out to MWC and BATU, do refer here.

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Featured images adapted from Singapore Incidents on Facebook and Shin Min Daily News on Facebook.

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