Do more for workers, say opposition parties

OPPOSITION parties have weighed in on the strike by SMRT bus drivers, calling for more to be done to protect workers.

They also criticised the Government for its labour and wage policies, and called on it to improve relations between employers and employees.

Non-Constituency MP Lina Chiam, chairman of the Singapore People's Party, said Singapore had to address "new sentiments" in industrial relations, and called for labour laws to be relooked.

She also urged the Government to look at reducing what she called an over-dependence on low-wage foreign workers across all sectors.

"By ensuring more decent wages for workers, jobs such as driving buses can then be filled by less disgruntled workers who can perform better, regardless of which country they are from."

The Singapore Democratic Party took a harder line, highlighting the rising wage gap and calling for wage levels to be boosted by introducing a minimum wage.

The National Solidarity Party, meanwhile, focused on the "vulnerability" of public transport operators, and said there should be more private operators. It also stressed that foreign workers should not be mistreated.