Police investigating after 9 workers protest outside Ang Mo Kio building over unpaid wages
The men blocked the entrance and exit of a building at Ang Mo Kio Street 62.
SINGAPORE: Nine men are assisting in police investigations after they blocked the entrance and exit of a building in Ang Mo Kio on Tuesday (Oct 18) afternoon, holding up signs demanding their salaries.
The police said they received a call for assistance at 5 Ang Mo Kio Street 62 at about 1.50pm.
"Officers engaged the men to stop their activities and they complied, said the police, adding that the workers are aged between 28 and 54.
"The men are currently assisting in police investigations for the offence of participating in a public assembly without a permit."
Images circulating on social media showed the workers holding signs with the company name Shanghai Chong Kee in Mandarin. They were also seen standing in front of a vehicle while speaking to police officers.
In response to CNA's queries, Shanghai Chong Kee's safety director Ganesan Arumugam said the protest was a payment dispute between his company and sub-contractor Zhengda Corporation.
The nine workers were from Zhengda Corporation. Six of them were engaged by Shanghai Chong Kee from Aug 4 to Sep 27 for renovation work at the Ang Mo Kio site, said Mr Arumugam.
The building is the headquarters of tech services firm NCS Group, which is not involved in the dispute.
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 Andy Hu told CNA on Wednesday.
The Ministry of Manpower (MOM) said it was alerted to the incident by the police.
"The workers have been assured of the help by MOM and the Tripartite Alliance for Dispute Management (TADM), and have returned calmly to their dormitories," the ministry said on Tuesday.
The offence of taking part in a public assembly without a permit carries a fine of up to S$3,000.
"The police would like to remind the public that organising or participating in a public assembly without a police permit in Singapore is illegal and constitutes an offence under the Public Order Act," said the Singapore Police Force.