Some migrant workers employed by Shanghai Chong Kee had to use personal savings for food, transport: MWC, BATU
A caterer has been hired to provide daily meals for about 200 workers from the company who reside at S11 Dormitory.
SINGAPORE: Some migrant workers employed by Shanghai Chong Kee had to use their personal savings for food and transport expenses, a non-governmental organisation and a union said on Wednesday (Oct 19).
On Tuesday afternoon, nine men blocked the entrance and exit of a building in Ang Mo Kio, holding up signs with the company name Shanghai Chong Kee in Mandarin and demanding their salaries.
The company’s safety director said the protest was a payment dispute between his company and subcontractor Zhengda Corporation. The nine workers were from Zhengda Corporation, of whom six were engaged by Shanghai Chong Kee for renovation at the Ang Mo Kio site.
According to Zhengda Corporation, Shanghai Chong Kee did not make payment for weeks. The latter has since issued two cheques, Zhengda Corporation's project director said.
On Tuesday evening, staff from the Migrant Workers’ Centre (MWC) visited the S11 Dormitory @ Punggol to meet the workers from Shanghai Chong Kee.
From conversations with 30 migrant workers who were employed by the company and staying at the dormitory, MWC said it learnt that many of them faced issues with their employment.
In some instances, workers were required to use their personal savings for food and transport.
“To urgently provide temporary relief until their issues are resolved, MWC immediately sourced a caterer to provide for the daily meals of the roughly 200 workers from the company who reside at S11 Dormitory,” said MWC and the Building Construction And Timber Industries Employees' Union (BATU) in a joint statement.
The MWC also checked on the workers’ physical and emotional state and where necessary, offered to help them to resolve any well-being related issues.
The NGO said it would be notifying the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) of the findings, and will assist the ministry in reaching a “speedy resolution” of all the outstanding employment issues faced by the migrant workers of Zhengda Corporation and Shanghai Chong Kee.
BATU will contact the management of both companies to ensure that workers’ interests are protected.
“Workers facing workplace issues need not resolve these themselves and can instead turn to BATU and MWC for assistance as we stand ready to render our help,” said the organisations.
“It is in companies’ interests to take good care of their workers. In this respect, we call on companies to reach out to MWC and BATU should they require any advice or support on managing workplace and employment related issues.
“We would also like to remind all employers to act responsibly towards their workers and comply with the regulations governing their employment, care and protection.”
On Tuesday, the police said the nine men were assisting with investigations. Officers told the men to stop their activities at the time and they complied, the police added.
MOM said it was alerted to the incident and that the workers have been assured of the help by MOM and the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management.