SINGAPORE - SMRT has taken a series of actions in response to the concerns of drivers from China (PRC) who had gone on an illegal strike last week and has also explained to them their pay structure.
Speaking in Mandarin yesterday at a town hall meeting with SMRT's PRC drivers, Desmond Kuek, president and chief executive officer of the public transport operator, described their compensation as "fair and equitable", compared to that of their Malaysian counterparts.
PRC drivers are on a two-year contract, while Malaysian ones are permanent hires, he said, so "the nature of such short contracts and longer-term employment tenures are necessarily different".
He added that PRC drivers are covered for transport, accommodation and utilities amounting to about $275 a month, while Malaysian drivers have to rent a place or return home across the Causeway after work, he said.
Performance-related incentives of $230 for safety and service standards also apply regardless of nationality.
The latest salary adjustment puts the starting pay of PRC drivers at $1,100 a month; that for Malaysian drivers is around $1,400.
Mr Kuek said that "many" PRC drivers earn a gross salary of $1,800 or more after factoring in an average of 60 overtime hours a month.