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Bus Strike

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Sergei82
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Postby Sergei82 » Fri, 30 Nov 2012 1:17 pm

Yeah, experienced people say: if old granpa was still at power, he would immediately jail them, then cane, then fine, then send back to China and ban entering Singapore, then in person would fly to China to resolve diplomatic issue, come back, fine heavily SMRT, fire somebody from there, then fine and fire somebody from MOM to keep them tight and after he did that all nation would have supported him anyway.
What will current authority do, lets wait and see. If one step of this "algorithm" is missing, its time to get a hell out of SG - there will be more strikes everywhere!

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Postby nakatago » Fri, 30 Nov 2012 1:56 pm

Akimbo wrote:
nakatago wrote:Don't worry; we get enough shout-outs with the local blogosphere, news sites and even gahmen offices. They're known to lurk around so if it's said here, they're likely to see it. (Hi, Jimmy Tan!)


Jimmy Tan...is that the guy who posts somewhat tongue-in-cheek articles which pokes the ironic situations in Singapore in Y!SG articles?


sutra612868.html

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Postby zzm9980 » Fri, 30 Nov 2012 2:08 pm

morenangpinay wrote:now lets all tie that up with the emotional ranking news, the yale-singapore news, and the we dun wan FT issue.


Don't forget the gays and the Malaysian football team :cool:

(See letter to editor in joke forum)

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Postby Travailes » Fri, 30 Nov 2012 5:04 pm

x9200 wrote:Would you be fine paying few times as much for electronics, cloths and other stuff made in cheapo-labor countries, as what you currently pay does not reflect the objective fairness?

Is the party over in the Western world?


It is not a question of paying more as a consumer but more for a higher price to be paid to the manufacturers / collectives etc which can be shared back down the chain.

The Western world operates minimum wage schemes to protect from exploitation and many of the manufacturers source raw materials through Fair Trade agreements.
You can be a king or a street sweeper, but everyone gets to dance with the grim reaper.

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Postby Travailes » Fri, 30 Nov 2012 5:16 pm

nutnut wrote:If you don't like the wage, go get a job with someone who pays better. Don't sign a contract then expect to wangle your way out of it by threatening your employer.

I'd sack the lot of them personally, yes, their wage is low I wouldn't work for it, I certainly wouldn't take a job on such a wage and then strike cause I don't like it! I'd develop my skills (English/Work skills) and go get another job. I've done this before myself, we all started on a lower paid job than we are likely on now and this is down to what you accept and negotiate.

I don't have sympathy for the very fact that they have their own choice to take this job, as Taxico says, they knew the deal when they came here, they accepted the living situation and now they want it changed by having a tantrum? Pick up your toys and get back in your cot, or, get on your feet and get yourself a better paid job. That's your choice in this country and a mantra I've always lived by myself, NO ONE helps you in this life! Help yourself if you want to get somewhere.

Out of interest, what's the pay for a similar job in Shanghai or Beijing and would they get accommodation, food and living expenses?


Your argument is based on pure speculation. You assume these employees accepted roles and salaries knowing it was paid at a different rate from others i.e Malaysians. I don't think they are looking for sympathy just equality which is not unreasonable. I don't disagree with your 'get on your bike' principle but remember these guys would have little chance finding any other sort of work here.

With all the vitriol aimed at them in the press there is a complete paradox between how 'important' they are claimed to be to the economy, commuters, movement of people etc and the value placed on them by their employers through miserly wages !
You can be a king or a street sweeper, but everyone gets to dance with the grim reaper.

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Postby v4jr4 » Fri, 30 Nov 2012 5:39 pm

Travailes wrote:
nutnut wrote:If you don't like the wage, go get a job with someone who pays better. Don't sign a contract then expect to wangle your way out of it by threatening your employer.

I'd sack the lot of them personally, yes, their wage is low I wouldn't work for it, I certainly wouldn't take a job on such a wage and then strike cause I don't like it! I'd develop my skills (English/Work skills) and go get another job. I've done this before myself, we all started on a lower paid job than we are likely on now and this is down to what you accept and negotiate.

I don't have sympathy for the very fact that they have their own choice to take this job, as Taxico says, they knew the deal when they came here, they accepted the living situation and now they want it changed by having a tantrum? Pick up your toys and get back in your cot, or, get on your feet and get yourself a better paid job. That's your choice in this country and a mantra I've always lived by myself, NO ONE helps you in this life! Help yourself if you want to get somewhere.

Out of interest, what's the pay for a similar job in Shanghai or Beijing and would they get accommodation, food and living expenses?


Your argument is based on pure speculation. You assume these employees accepted roles and salaries knowing it was paid at a different rate from others i.e Malaysians. I don't think they are looking for sympathy just equality which is not unreasonable. I don't disagree with your 'get on your bike' principle but remember these guys would have little chance finding any other sort of work here.

With all the vitriol aimed at them in the press there is a complete paradox between how 'important' they are claimed to be to the economy, commuters, movement of people etc and the value placed on them by their employers through miserly wages !


Yet, at the same time, seeing them as, let's say, possible-victims of naughty agencies can be treat as a speculation as well, unless someone can state clearly what's the real story. Sadly, "a part (taken) for the whole" plays a role here. PRCs are seen as "not good", in which, this kind of view can be treated as false assumption. Perhaps the strikers are good persons, but due to that false assumption, who wants to believe?

Once the bad label is there, then it's kinda hard to erase it.
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Postby taxico » Sat, 01 Dec 2012 10:52 am

Travailes wrote:...I don't think they are looking for sympathy just equality which is not unreasonable. I don't disagree with your 'get on your bike' principle but remember these guys would have little chance finding any other sort of work here.

With all the vitriol aimed at them in the press there is a complete paradox between how 'important' they are claimed to be to the economy, commuters, movement of people etc and the value placed on them by their employers through miserly wages !


there're too many parallels that can be drawn (living conditions, disparity in pay, etc), except the outcome usually does not end with arrests and a speedy trial.

at the end of the day, certain groups of asians tend to complain more than others. i think the bus drivers genuinely did not know the legality of holding a strike in singapore.

the dorm situation i wouldn't comment on - i believe the accommodations are outsourced to a third party. whether the situation was the direct result of poor hygiene of the bus drivers, i am unsure (although MOM believes it is).

let's get back to the fruits in contention:

$1k to a chinese driver would be an average average wage. they are hired despite being more difficult to train and being less accepted by commuters (IMO) as fewer singaporeans and malaysians want the job.

the pay therefore needs to be raised (which they did) to attract more singaporeans and malaysians as SMRT knows there will always be a ready supply of chinese nationals that are able to come to singapore to work.

it is not realistic nor possible to hope that remuneration would be equal. this doesn't apply only to bus driver jobs in singapore, but also to doctors (and many other professionals) working here.

...and these are norms practiced by HR in many many many companies (big and small) around the world.

if utopian change were to occur, we should not realistically expect it will start with asian singapore.

finally, if anyone were to come up with ways to work the system (ie, somehow be allowed to find other jobs in singapore), it would be the chinese. they'd be on it quicker than a speedy singapore trial.

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Postby morenangpinay » Sat, 01 Dec 2012 11:02 am

maybe they felt they didn't have proper channels to voice out their grievances after all they are not part of a union, they are migrant workers in jobs that are not really respected by Singaporeans.I mean they're slightly above the foreign construction workers and the fdw's status. what option do they have ? You think the management would listen to them?Its not the ideal but probably if given a choice, they would choose not to break any laws.

and comeon, 14 day notice for a strike...what is the impact of that. So go ahead maybe sack the 170 PRCs and get 170 Singaporeans to do the job.

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Postby Sergei82 » Sat, 01 Dec 2012 11:30 am

Yes, actually, this is the first country I've been to where I see such a phenomenon: people massively avoiding certain types of jobs. In my Ukraine Ukrainians are doing all kinds of jobs, in Russia - Russians are doing everything, I was living in Korea - Koreans are doing everything (even in such areas like IT there are plenty of Koreans, foreigners are invited for slightly different purposes), Thais do everything. Probably, every country is like that.
Singaporeans are "kings"... we dun wanna be in IT, we dun wanna be doctors, we dun wanna clean others' houses, we dun wanna be at construction site, we dun wanna be bus drivers... So spoiled!

Well, maybe in Malaysia there is some similarities with Chinese-Malays preferring different jobs.

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Postby x9200 » Sat, 01 Dec 2012 12:03 pm

Unfortunately in many European countries rather significant part of the population prefer to stay on the doll and do nothing or at best work illegally (so the income doesn't get taxed). Apparently Singaporeans can afford to be picky in choosing their job and what is more important nobody pays them if they decide not to work on such low paid positions.

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Postby taxico » Sat, 01 Dec 2012 1:46 pm

Sergei82 wrote:Yes, actually, this is the first country I've been to where I see such a phenomenon: people massively avoiding certain types of jobs.

In my Ukraine Ukrainians are doing all kinds of jobs, in Russia - Russians are doing everything, I was living in Korea - Koreans are doing everything (even in such areas like IT there are plenty of Koreans, foreigners are invited for slightly different purposes), Thais do everything. Probably, every country is like that.


there're sufficient benefits for people to hold a job. i'm sure it's not just for the sake of being employed that people have a job. nor can we guarantee that employees will remain loyal to the company/job if a better offer comes along.

i am unsure if i can properly explain the phenomenon of singaporeans shunning certain professions/vocations, but i can understand it (especially in context of the environment that singaporeans grow up in). i do not think it is unique to singapore although the nanny state does bear certain traits that promote such behavior (cheap foreign labor being one of them).

while i cannot comment on ukraine or russia, my wife tells me koreans don't mind being (well, given how difficult things are) a sanitation worker as it's a government job and the employee gets all the perks of being a civil servant.

however i do not believe that koreans actively seek out "3D" jobs offered by private companies. they have a vast network of illegals and underpaid foreign work force that are employed in such industries.

i am almost certain that if you offer similar pay, benefits and working conditions like in north america, singaporeans will not be quick to shun jobs like waiting/bussing in restaurants, driving buses/trains, building homes, clearing rubbish, etc.

wasn't the $3k dish washer job hotly popular? (despite it eventually becoming a 12 hour x 6 day a week position, excluding unpaid OT, no medical/dental, etc)

p/s: the 14-day notice isn't all that's required. the local paper has been calling it "among other things."

you need 7 other signatures (either co-workers that are also striking or union reps), it then needs to be sent to the employer for a signature of acknowledgement, and then at least 3 of the signed notices need to be posted in prominent places at work visible to other employees.

"among other things" indeed!

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Postby Sergei82 » Sat, 01 Dec 2012 2:48 pm

http://sg.news.yahoo.com/smrt-chief--we ... 33021.html

However, new initiatives to improve feedback delivery have been set up. A new 24-hour telephone hotline and an email helpdesk have been set up so that feedback can be given directly and assistance rendered.

Picture in my mind...
- Hello, hot line for SMRT bus drivers, who is speaking?
- Hello! My salary sucks!
- What's your name?
- Mr XXX
- Mr XXX, check your salary on the next working day in the morning. Thank you. Bye!



But it is a lousy sign that the strike appears to be fruitful. We have a good chance not to recognize Singapore in a short while...

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Postby Sergei82 » Sat, 01 Dec 2012 8:11 pm


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Postby earthfriendly » Sun, 02 Dec 2012 12:34 am

Sergei82 wrote:Singaporeans are "kings"... we dun wanna be in IT, we dun wanna be doctors, we dun wanna clean others' houses, we dun wanna be at construction site, we dun wanna be bus drivers... So spoiled!



In the west coast of USA, all the above jobs are mostly staffed by immigrant workers. Except for bus drivers, there isn't a huge demand for it as public transportation is not big over here.

In SG, part of it is due to the reluctance of the people to undertake such jobs. The other part is due to govt cherry picking and betting on industries that will be the next winner for the economy. At one time, they were betting on biotech. The country is small and lacks natural resources. They have to plan the best use of its human resource for survival. Such single-minded pursuit of economic success comes with a social cost. Every job is important towards sustaining the country and to keep it functioning. Even prostitution fulfills a certain need of society.

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Postby Splatted » Sun, 02 Dec 2012 12:39 am

This whole drama saddens me.

It just reinforces my view that this country legalizes , what would be described in any other country as "exploitation", and that many SC have no moral compass when it comes to blatant racial discrimination.

There, I said it.. Hope my PR doesn't get revoked now. :(


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