Workplace abuse is 'boorish behaviour'

Workplace abuse is 'boorish behaviour'

The incident of a young employee of an IT software firm being hit repeatedly by his boss is a stark reminder of the need to protect the rights of workers and fight for decent treatment.

This was the view shared by National Trades Union Congress deputy secretary-general Heng Chee How yesterday.

In a Facebook post, he said that the need applies to both rank-and-file workers and professionals, managers and executives.

Mr Heng said there are proper ways to address the issue of workers who cannot perform at their jobs. "Beating up workers clearly crosses the line. Such boorish workplace behaviour cannot be condoned in Singapore," he said.

He urged the police and the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) to "help the victim seek recourse and press for deterrent action against the culprit".

The incident was brought to light after a video apparently showing an older man slapping the 29-year-old university graduate was uploaded on YouTube and went viral. The 17-second video was filmed by a co-worker.

Chinese evening newspaper Lianhe Wanbao reported yesterday that the victim's parents confronted the abuser at software company Encore eServices.

The man apologised profusely but the victim's parents were not appeased, it added.

A family member apparently asked if he could pay $100,000 in compensation.

The family member claimed that the figure was based on a graduate's $1,000 starting pay for the first year, plus an increment of $500 every month starting from the second year, plus bonuses and unpaid leave.

Wanbao reported that the victim was an intern with the company for three years. He was paid $500 a month, with no annual leave entitlement and year-end bonuses.

MOM had earlier said that it is aware of the matter and is in touch with the employee who recorded the video.

A police report has been lodged, but My Paper understands that no arrest has been made. A police spokesman said the matter is being looked into.

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