More than 70 employees of Clarke Quay nightspots complain to MOM about unpaid wages

More than 70 employees working at several established nightspots in Clarke Quay went to the Ministry of Manpower building this morning to lodge a complaint over unpaid wages.

The employees said they were employed by Cannery Leisure, Brandz+, Tribeca Leisure and Lux Leisure – companies owned by public-listed group Lifebrandz. The outlets operated by these companies include live music venue Aquanova, gourmet hot dog eatery Hopdog, Irish pub Mulligan’s and nightclub Fenix Room.

When The Straits Times visited the outlets in Clarke Quay, Hopdog, Aquanova and Mulligan’s were closed.

A spokesman for the Manpower Ministry says it will be scheduling the employees’ claims to be heard before an Assistant Commissioner for Labour. The spokesman added that the ministry is also investigating the companies for possible infringement of the Employment Act.

Mr Cedric Chong, who is the director of the companies employing the staff members, told The Straits Times he was unable to comment as he is “not a staff of Lifebrandz anymore”.

He was the former chief executive of Lifebrandz, but resigned from his post in February. He was replaced by Mr Eddie Chng.

When ST contacted Mr Chng, he declined to comment.

Several employees claimed that they have yet to be paid for the month of February, and are worried that they will not get their March salary either.

In June 2013, The Straits Times reported that Massive Collective inked a partnership to become a major shareholder in Lifebrandz, and that the group was taking on a bigger consultancy role in Lifebrandz’s outlets in Clarke Quay.

Mr Phillip Poon, 37, one of the directors of Massive Collective, told The Straits Times that they have been “managing the properties on behalf of Lifebrandz”, but that the “working relationship” has been terminated.

He also said that talks for Massive Collective to buy over the nightlife businesses from Lifebrandz fell through last Friday.