SMRT should have managed grievances better, said Singaporeans polled

Nearly 80 per cent of Singaporeans felt transport operator SMRT should bear some responsibility for not managing the grievances of its bus drivers, even though it was wrong of them to stage a strike.

In a poll conducted by the government's feedback channel, Reach, of 313 randomly selected Singaporeans aged 15 and over, some 74 per cent of respondents agreed that the Chinese bus drivers should have gone through the proper channels to air their grievances.

Some 78 per cent of those polled also agreed that if the bus drivers from China are found to have breached Singapore's law, they should be punished to the full extent of the law, as Singapore has zero tolerance for illegal strikes.

More than 100 bus drivers from China went on an illegal strike last week, citing unhappiness over their pay and living conditions.

Five have been charged in court, with one sentenced to six weeks in jail; 29 have been repatriated.