Singapore Expats Forum

Bus Strike

Discuss about the latest news & interesting topics, real life experience or other out of topic discussions with locals & expatriates in Singapore.

offshoreoildude
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1582
Joined: Wed, 04 Jul 2012

Postby offshoreoildude » Sun, 02 Dec 2012 9:41 am

Splatted wrote: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. :(

+1
Now I'm called PNGMK

earthfriendly
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1943
Joined: Sat, 20 Aug 2005

Postby earthfriendly » Sun, 02 Dec 2012 10:09 am

Splatted wrote:
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.
:(


Not that uncommon but we need to strive for a more equitable society and strengthening labor laws. In Japan, a non-white English language teacher gets paid half the hourly salary to that of his white counterpart. Both teachers are from USA. In the Hawaiian sugar plantation, Japanese migrant workers get paid double that of the Filipino migrant workers.

Many moons ago, Unisys would offer worse terms to Indian expatriates posted to USA / Hong Kong (can't remember which ones) compared to another.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34778
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 02 Dec 2012 4:54 pm

Unfortunately, it still doesn't make it right.

sensei_
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 232
Joined: Sun, 31 Jul 2011
Location: Perth, Australia

Postby sensei_ » Sun, 02 Dec 2012 8:15 pm

Splatted wrote: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. :(


Why is it exploitation?

Chinese drivers get a meal, transport and accommodation allowance. This is not free. To me, the pay discrepancies are due to the allowance. At the end of the day, it works out the same.

offshoreoildude
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1582
Joined: Wed, 04 Jul 2012

Postby offshoreoildude » Sun, 02 Dec 2012 9:17 pm

sensei_ wrote:
Splatted wrote: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. :(


Why is it exploitation?

Chinese drivers get a meal, transport and accommodation allowance. This is not free. To me, the pay discrepancies are due to the allowance. At the end of the day, it works out the same.


There's no legitimate basis for the pay discrimination based on the nationality of the driver. It just corporate greed and bigotry.
Now I'm called PNGMK

sensei_
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 232
Joined: Sun, 31 Jul 2011
Location: Perth, Australia

Postby sensei_ » Sun, 02 Dec 2012 9:21 pm

offshoreoildude wrote:There's no legitimate basis for the pay discrimination based on the nationality of the driver. It just corporate greed and bigotry.


Sure. In that case, pay the chinese drivers the same, and then let them handle their own meals, accommodation, etc. No more allowances for them.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34778
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 02 Dec 2012 10:09 pm

sensei_, you are over you head on this one.

They don't get allowances for their food. The get crowded, 10 to a room, bedbug infested accommodation that they claim costs 250/mo which is BS. Additionally most are made to work split shifts so that their "8 hours of rest" are interrupted by those working a single shift thereby not getting sufficient rest. The bus taking them to work? WOW, $15/month. Additionally, being screwed on increments to the tune of $25 while the Malaysians get $75? And everybody knows, contract workers are normally paid a slight premium as they are on contracts and not full time employees.

Oh, let's not forget the fact that they didn't know what they were getting into before landing here. The recruiters in China (the local ones) who interact with the SMRT recruiters already made their touch with those wanting contracts, probably to the tune of $6000~8,000 SGD equivalent as is normal with all contracts for PRC's to come to Singapore. The PRC Recruiters normal split their fees with the Singapore Recruiters because (and watch this) it is against the law of MOM to charge an employee either for recruitment or levy fees. While they weren't actually deducting anything from their salaries, the first day, SMRT indicated they paid the PRCs less BECAUSE of the COSTS of the LEVIES and the RECRUITMENT FEES. Both costs of Employment of help but NOT deductible from salaries, so they just paid them a hell of a lot less. Additionally, WP holders are, by law, supposed to be furnished accommodation (and not charged for it). They get their IPAs before they ever leave China and when they get the IPA, then they sign the employment contracts before getting on the planes normally. Once they land in Singapore to only way back without starting work is a proviso if they fail the physical. So, they, the family, their friends, ah long in China have paid the recruiter and once here they are royally Fcuked. In this case they were probably told spacious accommodation with a maximum of 4 to a room and they WERE told 5 day weeks and lots of overtime for working 6 days. However, after they got here, they were told they have had the work weeks changed to 6 days a week and little if any O/T. Screwed again. They were done over right royally. Nah, you way out in left field on this one.

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34778
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Sun, 02 Dec 2012 10:23 pm

Oh, one other thing. I was a recruiter for 8 years here. So I know how they operate. I now only headhunt for overseas positions.

teck21
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 159
Joined: Wed, 01 Jul 2009

Postby teck21 » Sun, 02 Dec 2012 10:34 pm

Splatted wrote: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.


Exploitation is something Asia in general is far from weaning itself off.

Assuming you come from one of the westernized developed nations, exploitation, as I think we understand it, only really disappeared 50 years or so ago.

Go back even just 100 years, what Asians now regard as normal (ie exploitation) was by and large regarded as normal in those societies as well.

offshoreoildude
Manager
Manager
Posts: 1582
Joined: Wed, 04 Jul 2012

Postby offshoreoildude » Sun, 02 Dec 2012 11:05 pm

Interestingly enough, my die hard right wing republican Yankee wife agrees with me on this one. The Sinkies missed a chance here to get behind a real strike and push back a bit on gahmen for better labour rights - the ones they lost long ago. They forget - because of a bit of inconvenience, that the strikers represented all of their complaints in a small way and that the strikers, have a fundamental right to withdraw labour in a democracy - even if it is 'illegal'. I read the rules for a legal strike here - it's just a stitch up - in my opinion there cannot be such a thing as an illegal strike in a democratic country - it contradicts the notion of freedom - if the bus system is so urgent - bring in soldiers to drive the buses until the strike is resolved. So what did this show us? Singapore is not a free country.
Now I'm called PNGMK

User avatar
JR8
Immortal
Immortal
Posts: 16514
Joined: Wed, 24 Mar 2010
Location: K. Puki Manis

Postby JR8 » Sun, 02 Dec 2012 11:22 pm

offshoreoildude wrote:in my opinion there cannot be such a thing as an illegal strike in a democratic country - it contradicts the notion of freedom


You should preach that to the people of Detroit; if there's anyone left there.

User avatar
Sergei82
Editor
Editor
Posts: 1455
Joined: Mon, 02 Nov 2009

Postby Sergei82 » Mon, 03 Dec 2012 12:27 am

SMS, is it really illegal in SG for recruiters to get money from employees for employment? Most of other countries - yes, but here in SG - there are many recruitment agencies that take part of salary even from SGreans, and for the whole term of employment.
I wonder, will a small letter about such an agency, anonymously dropped to MOM, make any difference? :)

User avatar
sundaymorningstaple
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 34778
Joined: Thu, 11 Nov 2004
Location: Still Fishing!
Contact:

Postby sundaymorningstaple » Mon, 03 Dec 2012 6:49 am

In theory and it used to be enforced (when I was still recruiting). The most that they could take was an administrative fee for registering. But they were not allowed to actually charge the employee for finding them a position because in Singapore the client pays any recruitment fees. The problem is that, as mentioned, the foreign recruiters are not hamstrung by this law so they charge outrageous amounts and kickback the largest portion to the local Singaporean recruiter in cash or other untraceable methods. Why do you think that there are so many people in the recruitment business. Most "specialize" in certain 3rd world countries where they have the best contacts and can come to a working arrangement with them.

User avatar
x9200
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 9301
Joined: Mon, 07 Sep 2009
Location: Singapore

Postby x9200 » Mon, 03 Dec 2012 8:32 am

If they were unhappy with their accommodation or with anything that is different to what they was promised they should complain (make the main point) about this, not that they receive less money to their SG or Malaysians peers.
It is a norm in Singapore that you are paid based on what they think you are rather than on what skills you have. Why the HR always asks about current/previous salary when you apply for a job? Why the top employment passes are linked to the salary levels rather than qualitative skills indicators? So why the PRC drivers should be here any exception?
Has SMRT stated they are paid less because they come from PRC?

sensei_
Chatter
Chatter
Posts: 232
Joined: Sun, 31 Jul 2011
Location: Perth, Australia

Postby sensei_ » Mon, 03 Dec 2012 8:49 am

sundaymorningstaple wrote:sensei_, you are over you head on this one...Nah, you way out in left field on this one.


interesting to read your post because that wasnt the impression i was going by (personal experience and going by what others say)

maybe ive been too nice to my workers? (they get $100/mth rent allowance, and $100/mth for meals allowance, and any overtime is always paid for, some even choose to stay in the warehouse because they want to save up the $100 allowance, transport cost and time, and im cool with that, because i get free security)


  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “General Discussions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests