'Divers' submitting low-ball bids and depressing cleaning workers' wages to lose out in bidding war for contracts

The Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners urged service buyers to adopt outcome-based contracting, instead of cleaner headcount, to determine which firm to hire. It also suggested having a clause to say existing workers who join a new service provider woul
The Tripartite Cluster for Cleaners urged service buyers to adopt outcome-based contracting, instead of cleaner headcount, to determine which firm to hire. It also suggested having a clause to say existing workers who join a new service provider would retain previous employment terms and benefits.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

New rules on bonuses can help those whose wages are hit as contracts go to lowest bidders

They are known in the cleaning industry as "divers" for repeatedly putting in low-ball tender bids and depressing the wages of cleaning workers in a desperate attempt to secure contracts.

The practice has been going on among some cleaning companies for years and remains commonplace in the cleaning industry, said Mr Simon Swee, managing director of local cleaning firm Sun City Maintenance.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 17, 2018, with the headline 'Cleaners lose out in bidding war for contracts'. Print Edition | Subscribe