The Straits Times
Published on Dec 11, 2012

Foreign workers must observe non-striking culture in S'pore


I AM concerned about some of the arguments supporting the illegal strike by a number of SMRT's bus drivers from China.

These drivers had signed a contract, which I assume states the terms of their employment clearly. Whether the contract is misleading or not is for the courts to decide.

Others argue that the drivers were driven to protest because they were in such desperate straits and were left with no other choice but to go on strike.

While Singaporeans view striking as a last resort, it may not be so for workers in other countries for whom striking is the sole avenue to express displeasure over working conditions.

While we should welcome foreign expertise or labour, we should not allow the import of the kind of mindset or attitude that governs the working culture of such countries.

We should make it clear that such practices may work in the countries of these foreign workers, but do not work in Singapore.

Sim Boon Peng