27 Nov 2012

Singapore: first strike in 26 years continues

About 60 bus drivers in Singapore stayed off work today, the second day of a stoppage in the island. State transport firm SMRT said that of the 102 who refused to work yesterday over a pay dispute, 60 did not turn up today despite an agreement.
The drivers, all from mainland China, refused to board a shuttle bus from their dormitory to a nearby depot. One of them, who declined to be named, said they felt aggrieved over a disparity in pay between Chinese and Malaysian drivers.
SMRT is 54 percent owned by state investment firm Temasek Holdings. Singapore has been hiring bus drivers from China and Malaysia because of a chronic shortage of manpower. Strikes and other forms of industrial action are rare in Singapore. The labor movement works closely with the government and private business. According to local media, the last strike in Singapore was in 1986!

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