Fresh labour dispute, now at HDB worksite

Fresh labour dispute, now at HDB worksite

TWENTY Indian construction workers did not turn up for work at a Housing Board project site in Yishun yesterday due to unpaid salaries, said the Ministry of Manpower (MOM).

MOM said in a statement yesterday that preliminary investigations showed that the workers had not received their salaries for last month, which would have been due by Dec 7. The statement said: "These workers did not previously approach MOM on their salary issues."

Their employer, Sime Chong Construction - assisted by the main sub-contractor, Asiabuild - is currently working to pay the outstanding salaries within the next 24 hours, added MOM.

Four Chinese construction workers from the same firm are said to have stopped work at the Yishun Avenue 6 site since Nov 26. Speaking to reporters yesterday, the workers' supervisor - who gave his name only as Mr Tan - said these workers were owed between $1,000 and $2,000 each.

MOM said yesterday that the four workers had lodged salary claims and that its labour-relations officers have been working to resolve the issue of the workers' salary arrears. MOM added: "At the same time, we have been investigating the company for Employment Act infringements."

Mr Tan explained that he was unable to pay the workers as his car - where he had placed the workers' salary vouchers - was stolen on Monday. He then issued "IOUs" to them and promised to settle the payments within the next few days.

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